Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today led Louisiana’s congressional delegation in urging President Joe Biden to expedite disaster relief for Louisiana by removing a bureaucratic hurdle that has kept disaster aid that Congress set aside for Louisiana from reaching the state.

“The people of Louisiana were hit by 18 months of unprecedented disasters. . . . Congress responded by providing $5 billion in disaster relief aid through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD),” the lawmakers wrote.

“It is our understanding that nearly $3 billion of the $5 billion set aside for disaster relief for natural disasters in 2020 and 2021, including Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Ida, is sitting untouched at HUD. The delay in allocating these funds is attributed to an expired data-sharing agreement between HUD and FEMA that significantly impairs FEMA’s ability to share damage assessments with HUD,” they continued.

“Unfortunately, without a solution in sight, Louisiana families are left paying the price for bureaucratic red tape. These funds are the lifeline our people need to get back on their feet and address the dire housing situation caused by these storms. We humbly request that you direct HUD and FEMA to quickly forge a data-sharing agreement between the two agencies,” they concluded.

The lawmakers also directed the letter to Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell.

The letter is available here.