As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Landrieu has fought since the 2005 hurricanes to secure necessary funding to rebuild quality housing for homeowners, renters, and other residents. She has worked with Federal, State, and local officials to rebuild neighborhoods and communities, especially those devastated by the hurricanes and the failure of federal levees in 2005.
In 2007, Senator Landrieu delivered $3 billion to bail out the Road Home program, which helps residents affected by the 2005 hurricanes get back into their homes. In 2008, she was successful in fixing the tax penalty assessed on Road Home recipients, bringing $1 billion in tax relief to the region's families. In 2008, the Senator also secured $73 million to provide housing aid to the elderly, disabled, and low-income citizens impacted by the 2005 hurricanes. That year the Senator also was able to redirect millions of dollars of FEMA supplies back to Louisiana families. These supplies, originally intended for hurricane victims, were given away by FEMA to other Federal/State agencies. After Senator Landrieu’s intervention, the household supplies were provided to Louisiana nonprofits assisting hurricane-impacted families.
Housing Authority of New Orleans
In 2009, after a three year effort, the Senator was also successful in securing key leadership changes at the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). At the Senator’s request, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appointed a new Administrative Receiver to oversee all recovery efforts and assume direct responsibility for HANO. HANO had been considered a troubled public housing authority almost continuously since 1979, when such a designation was first created. HUD’s reform efforts at HANO and eventual local control of HANO will are crucial to the recovery in New Orleans.
In addition to her recovery-related work, Senator Landrieu's persistent efforts over the past decade have positioned her as a national leader in smart growth and comprehensive planning. Building upon past success, in 2009, the Senator championed $150 million in the Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations bill for HUD's Community Development Fund and help to maintain $11 million in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Program in the FY12 Omnibus Appropriations bill. These funds will be used to promote smart growth through integrated housing, land use and transportation planning. This initiative coordinates housing, development and transportation in communities to reduce transportation costs, save energy, and enhance access to employment and educational facilities. The Senator believes that in these difficult financial times, it is vital to support programs that have a real impact on communities struggling with challenging development decisions. Creating walkable, livable communities that encourage integrated transportation and housing development is critical to a community's sustainability and economic vitality.