Graves Statement on HUD's Flood Recovery Waivers
Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) issued the following statement today after the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) provided the state of Louisiana some flexibility with respect to how federal disaster relief funding can be spent in response to the Great Flood of 2016, as requested by Graves and other Louisiana officials:
“No two disasters are alike, and each recovery has its own unique challenges and needs. Mother Nature didn’t refer to the manual or use a formula to determine who would get how much flood damage last August – this historic flood disaster treated all its victims the same. It doesn’t make sense to apply a static formula to try to recover from dynamic disasters. That’s why went to work immediately in the days following the flood asking the former HUD Secretary to grant the LMI waiver,” he said.
In 2016 Graves urged the Secretary of HUD to exercise the department's discretion to waive the federal requirement to apply 70 percent of CDBG-DR to low-to-moderate income (LMI) households. Secretary Carson's announcement honors this request by applying the LMI requirement to 50 percent of households, thereby allowing the State greater latitude to administer Restore Louisiana benefits.
Graves continued, “We are pleased that Secretary Carson and his team have granted these waivers to give additional flexibility to the RESTORE Task Force, which should ultimately mean greater relief for our community by expanding help to as many people who flooded as possible. The flood didn't discriminate against flood victims. Neither should the government.
The countless meetings, letters, phone calls and conversations we’ve undertaken to secure the more than $2 billion in federal funding and to provide the state of Louisiana the flexibility it needs to best use those resources have been effective – and we won’t stop now. We’ll keep fighting for our flooded friends, neighbors and families across Louisiana until our recovery is complete.”