Victims' Rights Caucus

Press Releases

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will award the State of Texas a mere $74,522,748 of $11.5 Billion in federal disaster assistance funding. This amount is only of small fraction of the $1.2 billion requested by the State of Texas to cover damages and expenses incurred as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Congressman Poe vowed that this is not over. The next step will be to work with the other members of the Texas Delegation and Governor Perry to inquire as to how this figure was calculated and urge HUD Director, Alphonso Jackson, to reconsider the allotment given to Texas.

Congressman Poe issued the following statement:

I am glad to see that Texas is included in the disaster relief funding, however to say I am disappointed in the amount would be a gross understatement. $75 Million is a drop in the bucket when considering it is for the entire State of Texas. Given the amount of destruction in Jefferson County alone, this wont even put a dent in our recovery costs. Texas not only has to recoup the costs of housing over 150,000 Katrina evacuees, but we are still reeling from the destruction caused by Hurricane Rita. This is an unacceptable figure and slap in the face to Hurricane victims in southeast Texas. It seems to me that the federal government is rewarding those states that were ill-prepared and botched their recovery efforts. Southeast Texas was prepared and responded immediately in rebuilding their communities, and should not be penalized for it financially. Let me be very clear, Texas is just as important as Louisiana and New Orleans is no more important than Beaumont.

HUD Director, Alphonso Jackson, announced today in a conference call that they will allocate $11.5 billion in a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Texas. This program allows state leaders to decide exactly how this grant money should be spent. HUD will issue a notice to the state of Texas and it will provide guidance to assist them in their long-term recovery planning, particularly as they relate to meeting the tremendous housing needs of their citizens. Once local and state leaders develop their action plan, they will submit to HUD for review.

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