Individuals and Families
More often than not, a disaster’s greatest toll is on the people—those whose lives are suddenly and without choice, altered forever. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita, hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents needed help rebuilding their lives from the ground up. FEMA’s Individual Assistance section provided a multitude of assistance, including $5.8 billion in Individuals and Households Program grants to 915,884 individuals and families statewide. This aid greatly impacted Louisianians by providing them housing assistance for rent, repairs and replacement housing, as well as other needs assistance for such things as furniture, clothing and replacement vehicles.
To combat the largest housing shortage ever seen in FEMA’s existence, the agency placed more than 92,000 households in travel trailers, park models and mobile homes across Louisiana. Units were located on private properties, at industrial sites, in commercial mobile home parks and across 111 FEMA built and maintained group sites throughout Louisiana. FEMA’s staff and their state and local partners worked relentlessly to accomplish this monumental housing recovery mission, helping nearly all of the 92,000 households move on to more permanent housing.
Meanwhile, FEMA’s Public Assistance Program has supported local governments’ with approximately $188 million for temporary housing costs incurred by essential police, fire, education and utilities personnel.
After Katrina, Louisiana’s public housing authorities were faced with the task of demolishing buildings declared immediate threats to public health and safety and removing disaster—related debris from housing authority locations.
For the Housing Authority of New Orleans alone, FEMA funded around $26 million in emergency protective measures to safeguard the public before, during and following the storms.
HANO, with approximately $70 million from FEMA and additional funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has taken advantage of urban design principals and utilized a holistic approach to revitalizing more than 7,900 of its hurricane-damaged units. In doing so, HANO consolidated many of its affordable housing units, redeveloping larger properties—as seen at its Guste II housing project—versus rebuilding damaged units at their original, smaller site properties.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program focuses on rebuilding housing higher and stronger than before, providing the funding and tools necessary to withstand future storms. HMGP grants implement long-term solutions for preparedness and protection against property damage and loss of life. Following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Louisiana was deemed eligible for $1.47 billion in HMGP funding. So far, 420 projects have been approved for a total of $873.2 million in obligated HMGP funding.
Katrina and Rita Recovery
- $5.8 billion in FEMA grants to 915,884 individuals and families statewide
- More than 92,000 households placed in temporary housing units (travel trailers, park models and mobile homes) across Louisiana
- Nearly all living in THUs have now moved on to more permanent housing