Gov. Edwards travels to Washington DC, requests urgent federal relief assistance


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference to discuss testing statistics and contact tracing pertaining to COVID-19, Friday, May 8, 2020, at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards is traveling to Washington D.C. to request urgent federal relief assistance for areas of the state in need as residents recover from major hurricanes and natural disasters.

In a letter addressed to the Louisiana Congressional Delegation, he cites the need for additional assistance as residents recover from severe weather events such as the spring flooding as well as major hurricanes that have made landfall in the past year.

An excerpt of Edwards’ letter reads:

“Using FEMA’s data for Individual Assistance for Laura/Delta/Zeta, and taking insurance and other available funding sources into account, we estimate the unmet housing needs of renters and homeowners to be over $900 million. In addition, the burden on state and local governments to pay the match on FEMA’s Public Assistance grants from these storms will be more than $130 million. There is also an estimated loss to businesses of $2 billion, along with crop and timber losses of over $2 billion.”

Edwards seeks federal funding and actions, including:

  • Expansion of Direct Repair Authority under Individual Assistance
  • Resetting FEMA authority to grant funding to states to implement housing programs
  • Flexibility in Match for Public Assistance
  • Extension of Disaster Recovery Reform Act Duplication of Benefit Flexibility
  • Extension of Disaster Recovery Reform Act Relief from Excessive Reductions Based upon Flood Insurance for Campuses
  • Allowance for HUD to waive the current federal site-specific Environment Review Requirement for single family home rehabilitation

To read the full letter, click here.

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