On the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's massive devastation, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is pushing the Senate to act quickly on the latest effort to help Gulf Coast hurricane victims. Federal recovery efforts have been roundly criticized for the sluggish pace in helping displaced residents rebuild their homes.
In a statement issued earlier today, NLIHC President Sheila Crowley called on the Senate to pass the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007. The House passed a similar bill in March by a 302-125 vote, but S.B. 1668 has been stalled since June. Both bills contain provisions that would speed up the repair and redevelopment of federally assisted housing on the Gulf Coast, simplify some federal rules that are slowing the recovery effort, and add new housing resources.
After two years of fumbled efforts by the federal government, the statistics on the recovery effort aren't promising. More than 106,000 mostly low-income families are still displaced, with 65,000 families still living in FEMA-issued trailers or manufactured homes located in trailer camps or next to the wreckage of their former homes. The NLIHC wants the Senate bill put on a fast track toward approval. Of course, the Senate hasn't been known for acting quickly on anything lately.
"There is no better way to observe the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina than to take action to make good on the promises that national leaders have made to the people of the Gulf Coast,” Crowley said.