Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the announcement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that Louisiana would receive $1.2 billion in flood recovery for the historic floods of 2016. This appropriation was part of a $1.8 billion disaster relief package approved by Congress earlier this month.
“The entire congressional delegation and I worked extremely hard to secure this additional assistance," Edwards said. "While it is not everything we need, it is a significant milestone in our recovery. I appreciate the Obama Administration’s support of additional assistance for Louisiana, and I am grateful to HUD for publishing the guidelines so quickly. The faster we get through this federal approval process, the quicker money will begin flowing into the hands of Louisianans who’ve been impacted. I’ve asked the congressional delegation to work with me to expedite this process, and we are continuing to push the federal government to assist us in lowering the administrative costs.
When Congress returns, I know the congressional delegation and I will continue our unified efforts to bring more help to the people of our state who need it most, and I am confident we will be successful in our efforts."
At the Restore Louisiana Task Force meeting to be held in Livingston Parish on Jan. 6, 2017, the Governor's Office of Community Development will discuss with its recommendations for the plan to spend this additional money, a plan which federal rules require the state present to HUD before the funds can be disbursed.
Gov. Edwards visited Washington, D.C. five times since September to lobby for disaster relief funding following historic flooding in March and August. In September, Congress approved more than $500 million in disaster assistance for states, which included $438 million for Louisiana alone. This initial down payment of assistance was secured with unprecedented speed, less two months after the August flood. On Monday, Nov. 21, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the guidelines for how the initial funds can be spent.