It’s been more than two years since FEMA paid for demolishing blighted homes in New Orleans flooded-out neighborhoods. But now federal money is once again helping eradicate post-Katrina blight.
That’s the topic of Clancy’s Commentary this week, by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
You don’t hear many people in south Louisiana singing the praises of FEMA. The much-maligned federal agency was the poster child for official inertia during and after Hurricane Katrina.
But recently FEMA has actually come to aid of New Orleans — and right on time. For almost two and a half years, no FEMA funds came to the city for demolition of blighted homes. Don’t blame FEMA for that, however. The money apparently was there for the asking. Unfortunately, former Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration just stopped asking in 2009.
Now, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is promising to tear down 10,000 blighted buildings in just three years. And FEMA has agreed to help — to the tune of about $23 million. That will pay for demolishing more than 830 blighted homes and almost 40 commercial buildings.
No one would have been surprised if FEMA had told Landrieu that time had run out when he requested an extension of the demolition program. Thank goodness this time, FEMA was not only ready, but also willing and able to help.
Heckuva job, FEMA.
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