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$700mn aid after Hurricane Katrina did not go to poor: American activist

Press TV

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April 7, 2013

An American activist tells Press TV that the $700 million aid in the wake of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina ‘didn’t go to poor people.’

According to a recent report by the inspector general of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, over 24,000 homeowners who received as much as 30,000 dollars to repair their homes either misspent the money or failed to provide documents to show completed work.

The $700 million was granted for Louisiana homeowners to elevate and protect homes from future storms.

“Where would 700 million dollars go? We know where it didn’t go and that is it didn’t go to poor people. It didn’t go to working people. It didn’t go to hospitals. It didn’t go to rebuild schools and it didn’t go to rebuild the infrastructure,” said Sara Flounders, with the International Action Center, New York.

She also stated that most of the money from the Louisiana Road Home program failed to reach victims and renovation projects, adding that the money “went into the hands of some of the most corrupt, private institutions.”

Jonathan Thaler, the founder of, said, “One of the problems is the money starts at the federal level and it goes through so many channels of bureaucracy before it gets to the people that actually need the money, and that creates a lot of opportunity for misuse and for misunderstanding.

In 2005, the Louisiana Road Home program allocated one billion dollars to help elevate and repair homes from the Hurricane Katrina flooding and storms. The program was part of the $29 billion Katrina relief effort approved at the time by the US Congress.

Katrina hit the southeastern coast of the United States on August 29, 2005, triggering a chaotic aftermath in the region.

Thousands in New Orleans, Mississippi and Louisiana are still living in trailers, with reconstruction efforts slowly underway.