Graves talks flood recovery with HUD Sec. Carson
Washington D.C. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves met with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson regarding the urgent need for solutions to fix ongoing deficiencies that hinder Restore Louisiana.
The state-run program has been slow to disburse the 1.7 billion federal disaster recovery dollars appropriated by Congress after the Great Flood of August 2016.
Secretary Carson and HUD officials indicated a renewed commitment to get better recovery results in three primary ways:
- HUD agreed to work with Graves and the State of Louisiana to put together a strike team to identify and fix state, federal and contractor delays to Restore Program implementation, and like programs in 2017 hurricane-affected states.
- HUD acknowledged the possibility of relief for certain homeowners caught in the Duplication of Benefits trap and committed to work with Graves and the State to identify a path forward under the current HUD regulations.
- HUD acknowledged that the Graves’ Duplication of Benefits legislation that passed today in the US Senate Homeland Security Committee is necessary for a comprehensive Duplication of Benefits fix.
Graves and the Governor’s office pointed to the 1.2 billion flood mitigation dollars that were approved by Congress in February and urged HUD to quickly issue the federal guidance necessary for states to begin using these dollars for flood protection and other projects in affected states. HUD indicated that the state may be able to proceed with flood protection work using state funds that could then be reimbursed with the HUD dollars in coming months.
The Governor of Louisiana was represented by Chief of Staff Mark Cooper and Office of Community Development Director Pat Forbes, attended the meeting at the invitation of Rep. Graves.