|HUD No. 06-079
Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding
for media inquiries, call (202) 572-8890
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call 1-888-ROAD-2-LA (1-888-762-3252)
July 11, 2006
HUD, FEDERAL COORDINATOR FOR GULF COAST REBUILDING AWARD ADDITIONAL $4.2 BILLION FOR LOUISIANA'S LONG-TERM RECOVERY
NEW ORLEANS - Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi and Chairman Donald E. Powell, Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, today announced an additional $4.2 billion in emergency funding to Louisiana to support its long-term recovery from last year's hurricanes. Bernardi, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin made the announcement during a news conference at the State Supreme Court in New Orleans.
HUD is also inviting the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas to detail their unmet housing and community development needs to assist the Department in determining how to allocate another $1 billion. The emergency funding is provided through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Last January, HUD allocated $11.5 billion in CDBG funding among five Gulf Coast states, including $6.2 billion to the state of Louisiana.
"It was clear to me that Louisiana desperately needs this additional funding to implement its plans to bring its citizens back home," said Bernardi. "HUD will work very closely with Governor Blanco and the Louisiana Recovery Authority to help pave the road home for thousands of residents desperate to rebuild their own lives."
"Last September, President Bush stood in Jackson Square and outlined his vision for rebuilding New Orleans better and stronger," said Chairman Donald E. Powell, Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding. "This funding is a realization of the President's commitment to the Gulf Coast and the hopes and dreams of the people who are proud to call this important economic, historical and cultural region of our nation their home."
Blanco said, "Never before in American history has any state been forced to rebuild so many homes so quickly. We are grateful to Secretary Jackson for allocating these funds to Louisiana. There is nothing more important to our recovery than returning families to their homes. This $4.2 billion means homeowners have real options - options to repair, rebuild or sell their homes. Rental housing is equally important. We will work to help restore affordable quality apartments and duplexes for our families to come home to."
Last month, Congress approved President Bush's request for an additional $4.2 billion in CDBG funding to support the long-term recovery efforts in Louisiana and added $1.0 billion to address remaining recovery needs in other Gulf Coast states. The funding allocated today to Louisiana, and the remaining $1 billion to be allocated throughout the Gulf Coast, will help rebuild homes, restore vital infrastructure and revitalize devastated communities. This funding places a special emphasis on assisting affordable rental housing. In determining how to allocate the remaining $1 billion, HUD will shortly meet with state representatives from Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and Florida to review their unmet needs.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws.
The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding coordinates the long-term Federal rebuilding efforts by working with state and local officials to focus on a set of prioritized, integrated and long-term initiatives to rebuild the region such as restoring long-term safety and security, renewing economic activity, and revitalizing communities.