Are you ready for Hurricane season?

Dear Aaron:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opinion regarding H.R. 1227, the Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on this matter.

As you are aware, Representative Maxine Waters introduced H.R. 1227 to address the housing shortages and needs of residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. This bill transfers $1.2 billion from FEMA to the Housing and Urban Development Department’s program to help communities restore, rebuild and provide housing for victims of the 2005 hurricanes. The measure prohibits the demolition of New Orleans public housing units damaged by Hurricane Katrina until a plan is developed to replace them, and gives displaced public housing tenants the right to return to their former neighborhoods or one as close as possible.

Since the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Federal Government has committed more than $110 billion to support the Gulf Coast; specifically $16.7 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. In addition, individual states were asked to submit to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) detailed state plans outlining how they intended to use the funds.

On March 21, 2007, this bill passed the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 302-125. I opposed the measure because this bill mandates the reconstruction of a previously flawed public housing system in New Orleans , rather than addressing root problems and looking for new solutions. I am deeply concerned about permanently extending a flawed voucher system which would require HUD to provide tenant replacement vouchers for all public housing units not brought back on line, including those slated for demolition prior to the storms.

This legislation is now pending before the United States Senate. Rest assured that I will keep your views and thoughts in mind should this legislation come back to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Again, I want to thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance on this matter or if you would like additional information on this topic or other issues facing Congress, please visit my website at http://crenshaw.house.gov .

Sincerely,

Ander Crenshaw

Member of Congress

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