Based on the experience of the post-Katrina recovery and rebuilding, Moore makes the case for ensuring the low-income households and communities of color are included and protected as New Jersey and the other states begin to spend their federal Sandy funding.
These are the populations most in need of federal assistance and “… If policymakers aren’t careful, they could bungle relief efforts in ways we haven’t seen since Hurricane Katrina.”
“Gulf Coast states received more than $14 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to help displaced residents, but low-income and African-American communities were often overlooked as disaster recovery programs favored whiter, wealthier communities. For example, Mississippi officials brazenly diverted federal money intended for housing to pay for a shipping port project.”
And she goes on to say,
“We must remember the lessons of Katrina and not forsake the most vulnerable of those affected by the storm. HUD must be transparent in the approval and implementation of rebuilding projects and communicate not just with state governments but also with residents from all affected communities and with local, regional and national fair housing advocates.
Sandy was a great tragedy, but it also presents an opportunity to advance the important goal of more diverse, inclusive communities necessary for a healthy democracy.”