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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 26, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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i think that was a bending toward justice. you know what johnson would have said? the important thing is to pass the bill. once you do, it is easier to go back and fix it. >> the narrative is to bring back the dead. that is what i tried to do. with those who are familiar and those were less familiar. >> i don't think i can afford 10 mirrors -- years on millard fillmore or franklin pierce. [laughter] >> i'm bringing all my guys in the room at the same time and i'm going to write about leadership. that is what i care about. [applause] >> thank you. >> c-span is going to have
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questions called in from c-span and c-span will now answer. ♪ saturday march the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. julianek, hud secretary castro and members of the housing and urban development recovery team presented a on the recovery efforts. this is one hour. >> good morning. we want to welcome you for the media briefing ahead of the 10-year anniversary of hurricane katrina.
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today you will hear from secretary castro and senior policy experts who have worked tirelessly on the gulf recovery from day one. before i turn it over to secretary castro, i want to let you know we will be taking questions from the media as well as viewers on the webcast and c-span2. link urge you to send questions via twitter -- we encourage you to send questions via twitter or by e-mail. that is h.u.d. public affairs at .gov. please join me in welcoming secretary julián castro. [applause] julian castro: good morning. thank you for the introduction. let me begin by thanking all of the journalists here today at headquarters as well as those i know are joining us over the internet. in the coming days, americans will turn to you as we commemorate the tragedy that the felt our -- befell our nation a
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decade ago. a disaster so terrible that for all of us, it will be remembered by one word. katrina. they will turn to journalists to account with so many endured and what none of us can forget. amid the devastating numbers, more than 1800 lives lost, more than one million americans displaced, one million homes destroyed across five states, $150 billion in economic damage. amid all of those numbers, americans will also look for answers. how much progress have we made, particularly in new orleans? what are we doing to support the recovery in the affected communities? today is about providing answers, but it is also about
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more than that. we are also reaffirming american history tv -- h.u.d.'s commitment to the people of the gulf to continue working with them and for them until the job of recovery is complete. you see, as long as there are people who want to come home and communities that need to be rebuilt, our job is not done. that is the true meaning of commemoration. not to simply mark a date on our calendars, but to ensure remembering also renews our devotion to those we lost, our dedication to support those who suffered, and our resolve to see the promise of our nation made to new orleans and the gulf fulfilled.
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10 years ago, i was proud to live in a community that stepped up to support the evacuees in the earliest days of katrina. roughly 25,000-35,000 people fleeing the storm came to san antonio. we were just one of many cities whose residents opened their arms to families in need. across the nation, h.u.d. played an important role to help displaced families find housing and get back on their feet. h.u.d. partnered with more than 300 public thousand authorities -- public housing authorities in 39 states to provide housing for nearly 39,000 families. in the gulf coast states, louisiana, mississippi, texas, alabama, and florida, h.u.d. worked closely with disaster recovery leaders to support an ongoing recovery.
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through our community develop me initiativen, we havet, -- initiative, we have devoted nearly $20 billion. nearly $14 billion of that funding has gone directly to support the region's housing market. h.u.d. has provided compensation for 158,000 affected households. we have also helped nearly 2900 families to buy new homes and have created almost 36,000 new units of affordable housing while rehabilitating another 13,000 housing units. h.u.d. is also central in the redevelopment of damaged housing throughout the gulf, especially in what were known as new orleans'big for developments. katrina displaced 3000 families living in those public housing buildings. today, in 2015, four new,
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attractive, mixed income developments are a vital part of community life in new orleans. the new orleans housing authority, which once was the set -- beset by mismanagement and under-receivership by h.u.d. has made an impressive turnaround and was returned to local control in 2014. as part of h.u.d.'s to support the broader economic recovery, our agency invested $1.6 billion to replace and improve streets, utilities, sewer lines, schools, hospitals, and dams. in new orleans alone, h.u.d. has helped build 82 new schools as well as 11 colleges and universities.
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our agency also helped open more than a dozen hospitals, clinics, and other health care centers. we have helped rehabilitate 20 parks and more than 20 fisheries and completed dozens of water and sewer projects. i'm also proud to say that h.u.d. has played a role to help nearly 5500 businesses, most of them small businesses, three open their doors -- to reopen their doors. this morning, you are going to hear from some of the men and women whose service was essential as h.u.d. supporting families in the gulf. earl randall is our new orleans field office director, an outstanding leader. and right at the head of our response to katrina.
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not only did earl and his team work around the clock to rick -- aid the recovery effort, they did so while grappling with their own personal loss. they were among the storm's heroes. i want to personally thank earl for his excellent work in these last few years. he continues to represent the very best of our federal workforce. earl is going to be joined by todd richardson, h.u.d.'s associate deputy assistant secretary in our office of policy development. i have to say todd knows more about these issues than just about anyone. but even more importantly, he cares deeply about getting the policy right for those who count on us. i know he and earl have put together a great presentation for you about the human aspect of this tragedy. following that, they will be
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joined on stage by three more of our colleagues, mary mcfadden serves as assistant secretary for grant programs in h.u.d.'s office of community planning and development in she oversees a number of programs that were instrumental in the recovery effort. she has also done great work on the long-term hurricane sandy recovery, so be sure to ask her a lot of good and tough questions. lynn's executive director in our fair housing and equal opportunity office of enforcement. lynn brings a wealth of knowledge concerning how we are working to ensure all families, no matter the background, regardless of what they look like or how much money they make, can take part in the gulf coast's economic future. and finally, they will be joined by the deputy assistant secretary for public housing and voucher programs. milan was central to our work to not only rebuild damaged public housing but also to help turn
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around new orleans' want struggling housing authority. i don't have to tell you that over the last decade, the road to recovery that they are going to discuss has been long and challenging. but i think you would agree with me it has also shown that while that storm was tough, the spirit of the people of the gulf coast has been even tougher. their resilience continues to inspire us at h.u.d. because as much as we have accomplished in the last decade, all of us are very aware our job is not done. today, the city of new orleans, for example, continues to grow. more than half of the city's neighborhood have recovered 90% of their population from before
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katrina. and 17 communities are larger than they were before the storm. but there is still so much more work to be done. i am proud to say we have worked with local leaders to build a stronger new orleans and a gulf coast that all can be proud of for future generations. as we mark 10 years, our work continues. we will keep working hard every day until the gulf coast come back -- come back -- comeback is complete. thank you. with that, i would like to turn things back over to jaime. [applause]
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>> thank you, mr. secretary. we are going to take a brief artist prepare for the next part of the program and be right back. jaime: next, i would like to welcome will randow -- earl randall and todd richardson. earl not only responded to the crisis, he lived through it. todd is one of our data experts that when h.u.d. works on something, it is not just about the output of dollars, it is about the impact those dollars make. todd has vast knowledge about our work on the ground. so i will turn it over to them. [applause]
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todd: the dust bowl of the 1930's, the chicago fire, the galveston hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 san francisco earthquake. these were catastrophic events that changed lives forever and transform leases. katrina joins these disasters of the last century and our language about transformative events. as the secretary noted, over one million damaged of homes and tens of thousands of lives disrupted for many years. 1833 lives lost. our colleagues at fema can tell you the story of response. h.u.d.'s story shared with a number of federal, state, and local agencies is about the recovery of the last 10 years for the families and places most impacted by the storm.
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as noted in the introduction, i'm todd richardson. my role after disaster is to find the data and make sense of it. earl: i'm earl randall, iii. i provide the on the ground perspective behind the data todd presents. todd: the winds of caused damage over a large part of the southern u.s. but the catastrophic damage of katrina was in louisiana and this is a be. the storm was the same, the disaster manifested differently. for mississippi with the storm surge crushing houses along the oceanfront, pushing them up against the raised rail bed. earl: in new orleans, it leveled thousands of homes. the flood right -- floodwaters continue to rise until september 1. todd: the word we heard most often by victims and first responders was devastation. earl: the slide you see now is
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the night toward where the levee breached and the floodwaters devastated all the homes in its wake. there were dozens of homes completely washed off of their foundations and people suffered a tremendous loss. todd: the debris removal effort led by the corps of engineers was massive. this is a transfer station for debris. as noted by the secretary, more than one million housing units were damaged across five states. over 278,000 homes suffered major and severe damage. earl: you may have heard the statistic that 80% of the city of new orleans was underwater. large portions of gulfport and biloxi were inundated with water due to the storm surge that approached. todd: more than 1800 people lost their lives and one million displaced residents.
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we are now going to pivot from the destruction of katrina to the recovery. these next at a points are made possible by the united states postal service. this slide from "the new york times" shows one year after katrina where folks had relocated to using u.s. postal service data. 270,000 households in the new orleans area filed change of address forms. one year later, 200,000 were still living -- still having their mail forwarded. earl: as a result of katrina, new orleans residents were spread across the country. in the immediate aftermath, these residents were placed in various modes of transportation and sent out to different parts of the country. what did this mean? this meant lives were changed forever, and stability had to become an essential factor in surviving. the pre-katrina life of everyone affected was temperately frozen
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on 8/29. on a personal note, going back into the new orleans field office three months later, i went to my desk. the calendar was set on the date we left. people had left coffee mugs in the same position. it was an eerie feeling walking back into the office and seeing it the way you left it three months prior. that was the symbol of what people's lives were. when you left, when you evacuated whether voluntarily or you were involuntarily rescued, your life was frozen at that moment in time. earl: how long does recovery -- todd: how long does recovery take? the postal service can tell us about active actresses -- addresses. my friends at the data center have been tracking the number of addresses taking mail by zip code. account of active addresses is now 90% of what it was before the storm. when you're after the storm, it had been 50%. two years, 67%.
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three years, 72%. gradually each year, until 90% at 10 years. the recovery has been at a different pace for different neighborhoods. in lakeview, it was 85%. that is the bottom line. in new orleans east, which had the most houses affected of any of the neighborhoods, the top line, the redline, 82% of addresses have returned. earl: in these two neighborhoods in particular, they both shared something in common. there was a higher rate of home ownership. there was also a higher rate of insurance in those areas. that is what attribute it to 85% and 82% of those residents coming back. todd: these two middle lines are the neighboring communities of
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st. bernard parish and the lower ninth and bywaters areas. 72% of pre-katrina addresses have returned. in st. bernard parish, 63%. earl: they were the most devastated communities in the city of new orleans. they were inundated with a significant amount of floodwater. their rate of return has been much lower due to the lack insurance as well as the home ownership ratio and mentors. the was a lower number of homeowners in those areas at a higher proportion of renters. todd: the research supports this. the more severe the damage, the greater the concentration of damage, the longer it takes to rebuild, the less likely to rebuild. if there is inadequate or no insurance, the recovery process is slowed years.
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we have a few aerial photos thanks to my colleague, dana. this is a picture of an area in the lower ninth ward. in 2003, it had 95 homes. earl: the aerial shot in october of 2014, there were 47 homes. if you looked at the previous slide and saw the cluster of homes, that was the cultural aspect, a way of living. my grandparents lived in the lower ninth ward. both sets of my grandparents lived around the corner from each other, so we had cousins, aunts, in almost a commune setting. that was our way of life. that was our culture. once katrina hit, that changed not only for my family but all the families that lived in the same type of environment in the lower ninth ward, all of the
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neighborhoods affected by katrina. life changed at that moment. things you used to do on a daily basis, you could not do any longer because of the change in the dynamics. todd: in st. bernard parish, a few blocks away, this lowers -- borders on the lower ninth ward. in 2003, it had 84 homes. earl: 2014 shows only 15 homes returned to that area. todd: h.u.d. is the recovery funding of last resort. we only provide funding when there is a sense the existing mechanisms, insurance, disaster loans, fema assistance, the corps of engineers, will not be enough recovery. h.u.d. received three rounds of supplemental appropriations through the disaster recovery program to fill those gaps.
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we had an initial appropriation of $11.5 million -- billion dollars. that was followed by $5.2 billion and a final $3 billion when he realized the homeowner recovery programs in louisiana had more needs than anticipated. as this slide shows, private insurance played a big role. $41 billion, $18 billion for homeowners. the national flood insurance program played a big role for 211,000 claims. philanthropy has been very important to recovery, $6.5 billion. tax credits have been an important part of rebuilding. as noted, h.u.d.'s program filling the gaps at $20 billion. this slide notes how much of the funds went to each state. the majority of the damage and returns went to louisiana followed by mississippi. earl: as todd mentioned, the disaster funds were the funds of last resort.
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on the ground, those funds were the driving force in recovery. it was with those funds that were flexible and caused the community to think how to meet their specific recovery needs. what it would entail and how we address the plight of homeowners, how we address the plight of renters, filling in the gaps for businesses that were shuttered due to the disaster. our disaster dollars filled major gaps in recovery dealing with housing, economic development, and critical infrastructure. these funds still had to a tear to requirements that have the funds used had to serve low income. they must follow the environmental, civil rights, and labor laws. one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with disasters cdbg is it does not come with a preset structure.
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it is inherently incumbent on those communities to design and implement their plan of recovery. it gives them a template to address housing, infrastructure, and economic development. but they must design a criteria for recovery. to simplify a lot of these matters, louisiana and mississippi both adopted a compensation program for homeowners. it was providing substantial grants to homeowners to cover the gap in funding left by insurance and other resources. by accepting these grants, homeowners agreed to rebuild by a certain date. if homeowners chose not to rebuild, those homes would be deeded over to the state. in louisiana alone, 130,000 families received compensation. this was an average award of $69,224. 92% of those individuals selected the option to rebuild.
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8% chose to deed their homes to the state rather than rebuild. todd: again, how long does recovery take? from its low point in july of 2006 of 98,000 active addresses to the 179,000 active addresses today, an increase of 80,000 active addresses over the decade. most of these were likely supported in some form by the community development block grant or low income housing tax credit assistance provided. 42,000 of the grants were in orleans parish. approximately 15,000 affordable rental units have been developed in orleans parish. many through the tax credit program as well as with small rental repair program using cdbg funds.
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my read on the arc of recovery is the first bump through july 2007 was likely due to people who had insurance or needed just enough of the rebuild funds to recover relatively quickly. but the rebuild from years 327 was slower as many families struggled to manage construction and others still did not have enough resources. in 2011, we surveyed the property owners who have not rebuilt. their top two reasons for not rebuilding were they did not have enough money to do the work or they were not able to get a loan to get the work done. earl: from the neighborhood standpoint looking at the speed of recovery, although 11,000 chose to sell their homes to the city, the concentration of those that did not choose to rebuild were heavily concentrated in st. bernard parish with 4300 units and the lower ninth ward with 1100 units. that is why we see the lack in recovery. -- lag in recovery. with the property being sold back to the state, it left a void. that void -- we saw that void in the aerial photographs.
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the resilience of individuals that you choose to come back is evident by their willingness to come back, but also to come back under circumstances that things will be different. things will be different from the way they were. utilizing some of the vacant properties to do green initiatives, to work on drainage and other aspects of the neighborhood to reduce rainwater runoff, so there were some aspects were individuals took the opportunity to take a more palatable palette to rebuild and recover. this was some evidence in st. bernard parish and the lower ninth ward. todd: from our survey in 2011, we asked movers and those who chose to stay about the satisfaction they had with the current home they were living in.
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both movers and those who chose to stay had about the same level of satisfaction. in 2011, those who have chosen to move are much more satisfied with their neighborhoods. 70% were very satisfied. those that had chosen to remain and rebuild, only 48% of them were very satisfied. earl: as we look at that data point, when we talk about the satisfaction of the individuals that decided to come back and rebuild, we have to delve into why they came back to rebuild. a lot of those chose to rebuild because they did so with a passion he wanted to rebuild things like they used to be. as i stated before, as of 8/29, things totally changed. when you choose to rebuild, you choose to rebuild your plot in life. when you look to your left and right and your neighbor does not come back, that is a difference. that affects your psyche when it comes to rebuilding.
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if you walk to the corner store that you frequent and it did not reopen, that changes the mindset to rebuild. when you come back to rebuild and your church does not return or anyplace you socially frequent is not return, that add something to your psyche of rebuilding. we can look at this and see the individuals that chose to rebuild were less satisfied. they were less satisfied because the passion with which they approached rebuilding was different. they had to reshape how they want to rebuild and live in what is called a new normal. todd: let's switch gears to another important topic. what happened to the pre-katrina renters displaced by the storm? two years after katrina, fema was still providing rental assistance to more than 40,000 families through temporary housing units and direct payments to landlords.
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over 3/4 of those households, none have been receiving housing assistance prior to katrina. fema asked h.u.d. to use its infrastructure and agencies to take over the rental assistance responsibilities for these families. the disaster housing assistance program was funded by fema and h.u.d. coordinated the work with the public housing authority. from august 2000 72 november of 2009, h.u.d. provided assistance to over 32,000 households. 306 public housing authorities in 49 states participated. in addition to providing housing, h.u.d.'s partners also provided case management assistance. the average income of participants was $18,500. the transition for some was fairly easy. for others, it was quite difficult.
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this difficulty lead to more than half of the participants eventually to transition from the fema-funded dental assistance to h.u.d. rental assistance, primarily vouchers. in 2010, 50 5% of the participating families were receiving h.u.d. rental assistance. we looked at this for 2015. only 35% of those folks are still receiving rental assistance from h.u.d., so they have been gradually transitioning off the rental assistance. but it has taken 10 years. of those nearly 13,000 participants still receiving assistance, we can tell a story about where they are today. we can see today that of those 13,000 still receiving housing assistance from h.u.d., 38% are in orleans parish. 21% are in other parts of louisiana. 6% are in mississippi. 22% are in texas. 13% are in other states.
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earl: one note on dehab, a lot of times we miss the true story of what it did for individuals assisted -- previously assisted with public housing. get stepped up to the plate and assisted individuals that were not assisted with public housing before the storm. individuals that lost everything in the storm, did not have a job, they were able to lean on h.u.d. for assistance in the aftermath of katrina. it not only took care of all of the h.u.d. assisted individuals affected, but it also stepped up to take care of individuals that had no place to go with nothing left. h.u.d. also worked with privately owned multifamily housing as well. in alabama, all 225 impacted properties have been fully restored. in mississippi, 420 of the 422
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impacted have been fully restored. in louisiana, 387 have been fully restored. this leads us into a longer conversation about the journey h.u.d. has taken with new orleans over the past 10 years. the symbol of that journey has been the redevelopment of the big four housing developments. approximately 3000 units of occupied public housing for katrina was demolished. approximately 1500 unoccupied units was also demolished in the redevelopment. of the redevelopment called upon express developers to redevelop these sites. the funding sources ranged from h.u.d.'s investment, tax credits of $259, fema's $29. but significantly cdbg kicked in
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an additional 15 million dollars at a critical time in the financial crisis to get a lot of these developments over the finish line. todd: prior to that, it had over 7000 total public housing units. only about 4000 occupied. families who had wanted to return to orleans -- new orleans have generally retarded been housed. of the -- generally returned and been housed. we have data that shows in 2015, 3303 are still living in housing assistance. i-71 1% of those are in orleans parish. 13% are in texas. 10% are in another state. this is st. bernard parish before katrina.
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this is the new st. bernard parish called columbia park today. earl: these are mixed income developments. they are both public housing and non-public housing units. residents of mixed income levels, they are built with public and private funds. they include a mix of uses such as retail, recreation, education, technology. they are attractively designed built with green requirements. they are accessible unlivable units to all. we showed the before picture of st. bernard. we saw what was there after. to put some perspective in place, the st. bernard housing development was the largest in the city of new orleans.
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but it was also one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city of new orleans. prior to katrina, the year before katrina, in the st. bernard neighborhood and surrounding neighborhood, there were 479 attempted felonies. one year after the development of columbia park, there were only two. we are not only changing the bricks and mortar of public housing, that we are elevating the lifestyle. we are elevating life. where elevating the quality of life for families living in public housing. get went from one of the most notorious neighborhoods in new orleans to one of the most desirable. if you vacated new orleans at the time of katrina and came back now, you would not know where you were if you have not been back. that is a testament to change. that is a testament to changing lives and redevelopment. todd: post-katrina we have invested in the choice neighborhoods program. this is a picture of the transformation here.
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earl: in 2005, a combined 9000 households lived in public housing or received vouchers. today, we are approximately 20,000 families as a result of the recovery act. todd: we are helping more families today in new orleans than 10 years ago. new orleans is a smaller city. it is growing, but it is a smaller city. in 2000, the population was nearly 485,000. in 2015, 379,000. the metro area is also smaller. today it is 93% of that, 1.2 million. more than half of new orleans neighborhoods have recovered 90% of their june 2005 population.
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17 neighborhoods have more than they did in june of 2005. what about the next 10 years? over the next 10 years, h.u.d. will work with new orleans and the mississippi gulf coast, as we do with communities across the country, we will continue to focus on affordable housing, decent neighborhoods, ending homelessness. and on that last point, one recent victory in new orleans, region effective zero at ending veterans homelessness. earl: over the last 10 years, i have been extremely proud to represent this agency on the ground in new orleans because new orleans is my home. i was born and raised in new orleans. my wife says i will probably never leave new orleans. i am proud to say h.u.d. stepped up to the plate. the recovery of not only new orleans but the entire gulf coast and portfolio of disaster affected communities we reached across this country are heavily dependent upon the resources h.u.d. provides.
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if you look at a community without h.u.d.'s presence, you're probably looking at a blank canvas because everything we touch is an agency helps to sustain those communities over the long haul. in the 10 years to come, i am proud to say the department is reevaluating every pledging its commitment to moving forward with the gulf coast because it is needed. we have done a lot of great things over 10 years. but we still have a lot of hard work to do. i'm glad howard is committed --i'm glad h.u.d. is committed to doing that work. todd: thank you for taking the time to hear our story. [applause] jaime: thank you, todd and earl. before we turn to the final part of the program, let me reintroduce the folks who have not spoken yet. lynn, milan, and lynn.
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for the assembled media, if you're going to ask a question, go to the microphone for the t.v. audience watching. folks can still submit questions via twitter @hudgov and #katrina. while we wait for folks that might ask a question at the mic, we have questions that have come in. this is from national public radio. maybe if we start with todd and anybody else feel free to jump in. the question is, has the shift from public housing to vouchers after katrina had the desired result of moving low-income families to more mixed income neighborhoods and opportunity? it seems to have just shifted people to other high poverty neighborhoods, some which are less convenient for poor families and the housing projects in new orleans.
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todd: one thing that is important is the statistic i gave for the participants still in the voucher program. they are not just in one place. they have moved to lots of places. they are not limited in their choices. the voucher has given them that flexibility. that has changed where people can choose to live. it is hard to find housing in new orleans and other parts of the country. rents are high in many places limiting choices about the neighborhoods you can live in. it is not a perfect story. many families are still in high poverty neighborhoods. but the voucher has given more choice to many families than they had prior to katrina. jaime: anybody else? we will go to russ zimmer and might start with marion on this one.
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nearly $1 billion was unaccounted for in louisiana. has that shaped how h.u.d. interacts with new jersey's program? is h.u.d. more involved in rulemaking or more hands-on in general and do these measures result in a slower distribution of grant funds? >> we learned the importance of being hands-on with communities as soon as possible after a major disaster. when the obama administration came in, immediately h.u.d. and fema set to work creating a framework to make sure the entire federal government is there for communities. we were able to work much more closely with new jersey and new york than we were with louisiana post-disaster, post-katrina. we have been part of designing their programs.
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i would say in terms of the missing $1 billion, i'm not sure exactly what that refers to, but i assume it is reference to an evaluation done by the inspector general that proved to be about half $1 billion which was provided for elevation for homeowners who did not have enough funds to get their homes elevated. one of the things we learned in katrina is it is much more effective when the state or local government providing assistance is hands-on with homeowners in doing a reconstruction program as opposed to handing funds over to homeowners and letting them manage the recovery process on their own. jaime: great. the next question, let me find it. how is the sandy recovery progressing in comparison to the gulf coast at this point, about three years after the hurricane?
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>> it is always difficult to compare disasters. looking at the statistics, hurricane sandy damaged or destroyed about 650,000 homes up and down the eastern seaboard. there were 650,000 homes damaged or destroyed in louisiana alone. you cannot compare them side by side. but i would say the design in louisiana of giving money to homeowners allowed them to push a lot of money into homeowners' hand said about the two-year mark.
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but that does not mean the recovery is moving more quickly or that it did move more quickly on the gulf coast than we are seeing in sandy. we are seeing in sandy is each of the grantees is doing a real reconstruction program and managing the process. new york state and new jersey are moving at a good clip. that said for families waiting to have their homes repaired, it is never fast enough. jaime: along the same lines, are there any lessons learned from katrina that have informed how h.u.d. handles disbursement of sandy recovery money? >> we could go on all day about the many lessons we have learned. that first one is to ensure the grantees are doing real homeowner rehab programs, that homeowners are not left to their own devices to try to manage their recovery. because when we get cdbg disaster funding it is because the scale of the disaster has been so large. it is too much to ask all homeowners to manage their own contractors and dealing with the process. that is one of the most critical points for us. earl: one of the most critical lessons learned is the lesson of preparation. i think katrina, rita, ike,
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gustav, the oil spill, and other dusters -- disasters have taught us to be prepared, has taught grantees to share information they would not have shared if not for those events before. it has taught us as a department to reach out to those grantees and encourage them to share across state lines, across boundaries. one of the jewels that came out of the golf course recovery -- gulf coast recovery is you have created a college of knowledge between texas, mississippi, alabama, and florida. that knowledge has been shared with our friends on the east coast with new jersey, new york state, new york city. the lessons we have learned is the critical lesson that you don't start from scratch when a disaster hits. you have resources you can t ap. you also have an agency in h.u.d. that will step up to the plate and recover with you.
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>> at the federal government, we have learned to do that as well, to work better across the federal government. the president set up the task force a couple of months after hurricane sandy to ensure that we were coordinating, not just on housing, but all aspects of recovery, particularly infrastructure work. we saw a lot of frustration in the gulf coast about the pace of infrastructure projects because of the need to do permitting and coordinate across the federal government. we wanted to make sure we had a forum for that which has proven effective on sandy that we did not have after katrina. jaime: we have a question from a webcast fewer, a freelancer. is h.u.d. tracking where katrina evacuees live? todd: largely, no. but we do know where folks with were still receiving housing assistance.
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in the charts as part of the presentation, there are two numbers i gave for the housing assistant program and what happened to the former residents of public housing. for those still receiving housing assistance, we can see the have chosen to live in multiple places. for the former public housing residents still receiving housing assistance, the vast majority have returned to orleans parish. many of those folks were not from orleans parish. they were for other parts of louisiana or mississippi. many have chosen to stay in texas, which received a lot of families, or other states. a lot of families chose to go to other states. we do see folks have moved. we have seen new orleans is a smaller place. jaime: i just want to remind folks in the room we only have three or four minutes left. if you want to go to the mic, go with it.
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>> i am with fox business. i want to ask about the new i.g. report that just came out stating more than 25,000 over-income families are in public housing now, some making hundreds of thousands of dollars. we have been talking about texas today. that was where this happened, it was in the top three of where this happens. i am wondering if you can talk to us about how the department would justify spending taxpayer money on this, as well as if there will be any changes made. >> their question is specifically about over-income families -- your question is specifically about over-income families? >> yes, in public housing. >> it is important to note the law allows for housing authorities to serve over-income families if upon admittance they were under the income limits. in fact, having over-income families help to do -- helps to
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diversify incomes. the families living in public housing developments. in fact, the programs we support in terms of redevelopment have that component to it in large measure trying to mix incomes as well as uses to create diverse neighborhoods. while there is some disagreement between the oig and department about the benefits to having a diverse income group living in a particular development, we will continue to follow the law and reach some accommodation with the i.g. about following up with recommendations about how to identify and address their concerns. in 2014, the law did change to change the flat rent policy for public housing.
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for those families living in public housing that are over-income paying flatlands, their rents will go up in accordance with the law. no more than 35% in any of three successive years. the rents for those families will be paid more than less had -- had more to fair market rents than incomes. >> my name is robert garcia. is h.u.d. better prepared for natural disasters after katrina. what would be the biggest take away for had --four h.u.d. from katrina? todd: i will start with that. we all have different roles. i think we are better prepared. we continue to try to improve each year with the things we need to do better. i don't think we can say we are 100% fully prepared for another
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disaster on the scale of katrina. that was very significant. but we did learn a lot from katrina, and we are making improvements each year based on those lessons so that we can be more prepared for a big disaster. >> i think one of the big takeaways for me is how we work with other federal partners, specifically for me, it was fema and taking over the rental assistance efforts. that was critical. i am with earl. we have thrown a lot of -- we knew that folks were traumatized. not just the folks who had to evacuate, but those there to help as part of the recovery.
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we insisted as part of the dehab process that there was strong case management. we knew families, especially families most vulnerable who had to get on the bus and go to houston, arrived with a close -- the clothes on their back. it was not just about paying rental assistance. it was about furniture, pots and pans, reading glasses left in the home that needed to be replaced. medications, doctors, help with wraparound things that affect so many of the families that had to leave new orleans and surrounding areas. to me, that is one of the biggest takeaways from our work in terms of that recovery part. making sure we are treating evacuees as real human beings going through trauma and giving them that level of comfort and service necessary. for me, that was the big takeaway. >> thank you for the question.
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for me civil rights and equal opportunity perspective, i think one of the biggest lessons we have learned is the importance of working closely with states in developing their plans and anticipating the implications and consequence of policies that might seem neutral but can have very adverse impacts on communities of color. i think we have learned to not focus strictly on the needs of homeowners to rebuild, but also to focus on the rebuilding of rental housing stock, particularly low income rental housing stock, so that low income renters that tend to be people of color have an equal opportunity to return and that
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we replenish the community as closely as we can to the way that he used to be for everybody. that is one thing we have learned to do quickly and anticipate. earl: one note on that. another takeaway we have learned as an agency is there is no cookie-cutter approach to disaster recovery. what may happen in louisiana will be different from what happens on the east coast or west coast with wildfires and other disasters. we know that now, we are better able to address the needs of those communities where they are and what they are dealing with. it gives us a better approach to working with those communities where they are at the time of disaster. >> in terms of our responsibility as stewards of the taxpayer dollar, i think what we have learned from katrina and sandy as well as some of the 2008 disasters is we have a role in encouraging
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communities to use the federal dollars we provide to them every year to ensure their communities are more resilient. and to use our experiences around the country to educate communities about what they can be doing with their own dollars as well. every time they are building, they should be thinking about the current and future risks their communities face. jaime: we are just about out of time. if there are any final thoughts from our panel, we will wrap it up. all right. thanks, everybody, for tuning in and being here in person. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> today, a look at how involving young people in constructive democratic processes can deter radicalization.
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the international foundation for a letter rural systems -- electoral systems. and 9:30n c-span 2 a.m. >> the senate special committee on aging held a hearing on diabetes research and funding. see it today starting at 4:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. night, brookings institution senior fellow bonda brown talks about state building efforts in afghanistan. >> the u.s. did achieve improvements in security. it could be worse depending on how it ends. i hesitate and increasingly western myself. we don't know how it will end.
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it is also possible that five years down the road, we will be back in a civil war in afghanistan. isis is slowly emerging in the country. it is much worse than the taliban. the televangelist deeply entrenched and hardly defeated -- the taliban and is deeply entrenched and hardly defeated. if there are safe havens for the taliban and and isis, i would say it was not worth the price. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern. >> live today, "washington journal" is next. a discussion on global banking access. >> coming up in 45 minutes, william kristol, we'll talk about the 2016 presidential
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campaign. at eight: 30 a.m. eastern a discussion on police reform. deray ♪ good morning, everyone. it is wednesday, august 20 six. lawmakers return to washington in a couple of weeks. what to do about the president's health care law is on the agenda. full repeal or smaller changes. the gop presidential candidates are laying out plans to replace so-called obama care. we want to get your ideas on reforming health care. here is how we will divide the lines. if you get health care through callffordable care act in at --