Press releases

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) today urged Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell to waive monthly rent payments through Oct. 31, 2022 for survivors of Hurricanes Laura and Delta in southwest Louisiana.

“Southwest Louisiana was devastated by an unprecedented string of natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Hurricanes Laura, Delta, a severe winter storm, and the May 2021 flood event caused extensive damage to the region and created major disruptions to the recovery process. These disasters were in addition to pandemic-related challenges, lumber shortages, and nationwide supply chain issues that have hamstrung construction and rebuilding efforts. These compounding issues have caused extensive delays for Southwest Louisiana families trying to return to permanent housing,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Nearly 19 months after Hurricane Laura’s landfall and six months after Congress appropriated funding, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has finally announced its allocation to the State of Louisiana through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. Louisiana’s share of CDBG-DR funding will largely be used to address unmet housing needs. While these long-term recovery resources will greatly help Louisiana’s recovery mission, the funding is still making its way through the bureaucratic process and is not able to be spent at this time. . . . A waiver on rent through October 31, 2022, will allow CDBG-DR money to flow into the community and address essential housing needs before rent payments begin,” they continued.

“Given these unique circumstances, we believe FEMA should take action to provide additional relief for hurricane survivors in Southwest Louisiana,” concluded the lawmakers.

The letter is available here.