Emergency CDBG Funds in the Gulf Coast: Uses, Challenges, and Lessons for the Future, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity of the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, May 8, 2008 [open pdf - 17MB]
From the opening statement of Maxine Waters: "As a national advocate for the Gulf Coast, I was quick to push for emergency appropriations to help the States affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma to recover from the devastation caused by those storms. The 2005 hurricanes were the deadliest and most expensive storms on record. Over one million housing units were damaged along the Gulf Coast as a result of the hurricanes in 2005. But half of the damaged units in Louisiana, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina-total catastrophic losses from Hurricane Katrina were estimated at $40.6 billion with uninsured losses much higher. Although the Federal Government has provided $123 billion for hurricane relief, $19.7 billion of this amount was provided through the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, program. Congress has historically appropriated supplemental CDBG funds to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados. In addition, CDBG funds supported recovery efforts in New York City following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in Oklahoma City following the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Building in 1995, and in the City and County of Los Angeles following the riots of 1992. However, the severity of the damage inflicted by the 2005 hurricanes and the slow responses of some of the States to get these funds out of the door has put the program into question." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Craig H. Baab, David J. Bowman, William C. Daly, Stanley Gimont, John Henneberger, Bill Johnson, Derrick Johnson, Reilly Morse, Jack Norris, James Perry, Leslie L. Powell, Gail D. Stafford, Maxine Waters, and Al Green.
Serial No. 110-110
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html