Friday, August 31, 2007

Support the "Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007"

Please watch this (3min 30sec)...

...then go here and take a look at Chris Dodd's "Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007":

Chris Dodd's "Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007"

Here is what ACORN, which has been working on the ground in New Orleans since the hurricane hit, has to say about the bill:

Two years after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, damaging a million homes in four states and destroying 300,000 residences, at least 106,000 mostly low-income families remain displaced.

Although billions of dollars have been allocated to house evacuees, little direct assistance has reached homeowners or created new rental housing.

Instead, ACORN - helped by hundreds of volunteers - has gutted 3,500 New Orleans homes without any kind of government assistance.

The Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act, S. 1668, cosponsored by Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), would mitigate the problems faced by evacuees struggling to return and provide a variety of housing solutions necessary for the region’s renewal.

Almost three-quarters of the homes destroyed by the storm were affordable to low-income families. On the storm’s second anniversary, 65,000 families are still living in FEMA trailers and manufactured homes and 11,5000 families are continuing to receive Department of Housing and Urban Development disaster assistance, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The return of these families is vital to the Gulf Coast’s economic recovery.

The Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007, now in the Senate, would accomplish several important tasks to jump start progress. To help homeowners, the act authorizes funds to cover the Road Home shortfall, allowing homeowners to rebuild, and requires the Federal Housing Administration to use pre-hurricane credit histories so storm survivors can become homeowners again.

To help those who were renters before Katrina, the bill designates $1.7 billion in FEMA funds for rental housing, authorizes the repair and rehabilitation of public housing and supplies replacement housing vouchers. FEMA is required to transfer funds to HUD to provide rental assistance to families still in need of temporary housing, and the State of Louisiana is required to use $55 million for community development pilot programs.

Finally, the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act establishes much needed accountability so that funds are used properly, setting up monitoring and reporting requirements for FEMA, HUD and the states to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

When Congress returns to Washington after Labor Day, the Senate should approve the Gulf Coast Recovery Act of 2007 to help residents finally return and begin rebuilding their lives.

Take action now to write your senators, tell them to vote for S. 1668.

To check out ACORN's full coverage of Katrina two years later click here!

...please write a letter and spread the word. This is the least we can do...

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