The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 29, 2007

Fact Sheet: The Two-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
The Federal Government Is Fulfilling Its Commitment To Help The People Of The Gulf Coast Rebuild

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Today, President And Mrs. Bush Are Visiting Louisiana And Mississippi To Review These States' Progress In Rebuilding From The Unprecedented Devastation Of Hurricane Katrina.

The Federal Government Is Meeting Its Commitment To Assist Gulf States In Their Rebuilding Efforts

The Federal Government Has Provided More Than $114 Billion In Resources – $127 Billion Including Tax Relief – To The Gulf Region.

Restoring And Improving New Orleans Levees

The Administration Has Secured $7.1 Billion From Congress For The U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers To Repair And Enhance The Levees, Make The Entire Hurricane Protection System Better And Stronger, And Begin To Restore The Wetlands Surrounding The Greater New Orleans Area.

Helping To Reopen Schools And Educate Students

The U.S. Department Of Education Provided $2 Billion To Help Local Officials Reopen K-12 And Postsecondary Schools Along The Gulf Coast And Educate Students Displaced By Hurricanes. In addition, FEMA has obligated more than $1.2 billion to Louisiana for school buildings across the state, and Mississippi has received approximately $300 million for education facilities.

Since The Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative Began In May 2006, The Laura Bush Foundation For America's Libraries Has Awarded More Than $2.5 Million To 54 Gulf Coast Schools. These grants are helping schools re-establish book collections in libraries damaged or destroyed by the 2005 hurricanes. The Laura Bush Foundation for America's libraries was officially launched in 2002 as a fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

Meeting Housing Needs

The Administration Has Provided A Total Of $16.7 Billion In Federal Funds As Part Of The Largest Housing Recovery Program In U.S. History. Of these funds, provided under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program, more than $10.4 billion has been allocated for Louisiana, of which the State has expended $3.7 billion. Mississippi has been allocated $5.5 billion, of which approximately $1.5 billion has been expended. HUD is working with State leaders to help target these funds, allowing States to draw down funds quickly after submitting plans. HUD continues to carefully monitor the use of these Federal dollars and ensure States are complying with the law.

Over 2,000 HUD-Owned Homes And 76,035 Units In HUD-Assisted Or HUD-Insured Multifamily Properties (Apartment Buildings) Have Been Repaired And Leased To Displaced Families Since Hurricanes Katrina And Rita. HUD has also provided Disaster Vouchers to 28,000 previously HUD-assisted or homeless families. In September, HUD will take over the FEMA apartment program, which will continue to provide rental assistance to approximately 45,000 households.

Additional Assistance Is Being Provided For Mississippi And Louisiana Homeowners And Businesses

The Small Business Administration Has Disbursed $6 Billion In Low-Cost Disaster Loans To Homeowners, Renters, And Business Owners Along The Gulf Coast.

Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) Tax Credits And Other Tax Relief Has Provided $12.7 Billion In Tax Relief For Victims Of The 2005 Hurricanes. In 2005, the President signed the GO Zone Act to help create jobs and spur development by providing tax relief for businesses and entrepreneurs in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The President signed legislation in December 2006 to extend vital provisions of this act.

The U.S. Department Of Justice (DOJ) Has Provided More Than $86 Million To Support Louisiana And The City Of New Orleans In Their Efforts To Fight Violent Crime And Rebuild Their Criminal Justice Systems. Nearly $30 million was disbursed to the New Orleans area for personnel costs, vehicles, prison beds, generators, office equipment, riot gear, ammunition, and miscellaneous equipment to shore up local law enforcement, the court system, and District Attorney's office.

Historic Volunteer Efforts Have Shown The Compassion Of The American People

In The Two Years Following Hurricane Katrina, More Than 1.1 Million Americans Have Volunteered To Help With Gulf Coast Response And Rebuilding Efforts. The number of volunteers in the second year of Katrina recovery exceeded the historic number of volunteers in the recovery's first year – the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) reports that 600,000 Americans volunteered to help rebuild the Gulf in the second year following Hurricane Katrina, up from the historic number of more than 550,000 in the year after the hurricane struck.

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