Excuses sound hollow when you’re trapped in a flimsy trailer. For Gulf Coast residents waiting for long-promised government housing assistance, patience has given way to anger, and anguish. What is clear more than a year after Hurricane Katrina is that their needs — and the demand for action from the American public — have largely gone unmet.
In Louisiana, only 28 families have received their share of the federal dollars intended to help them repair or replace their homes. After a local uproar, and a strict new deadline from the governor, the number of residents approved for funds is now just under 5,000 — out of nearly 78,000 applications.
Louisiana’s housing reconstruction authority should not bear all of the blame for this problem. All the gears of government grind too slowly for the victims of the storm. It took the Bush administration nearly six months to request the necessary rebuilding funds. Congress hemmed and hawed until June before approving the legislation. Down the coast, Mississippi’s program has also been plagued with delays.
We all heard the President tell the world that America would rebuild this city. Like most of Mr. Bush’s promises, these statements lacked a follow-through. Unless he is giving taxes back to his base, he seems to be all talk in pushing agendas. Mark my words, New Orleans and Iraq will be President George W Bush’s legacy. I am sorry America had to learn the hard way what it’s like to have a professional underachiever running the country…