The fact is that the United States Congress and President Joe Biden haven’t done nearly enough yet for victims of hurricanes in Louisiana, particularly in the Lake Charles area so damaged by Hurricane Laura more than a year ago.
It’s not enough. But it is progress, albeit limited.
As Louisiana has learned bitterly through the years, federal aid post-disaster is neither overly generous nor flexible enough, burdened with red-tape obligations.
The crying need for a housing program in Lake Charles is something that can be somewhat addressed by the new aid package approved by our dysfunctional national Legislature in Washington.
Now, state and local governments — such as the sorely tried Mayor Nic Hunter of Lake Charles — must work through bureaucratic hoops that will take time. That time would have been shortened had Congress acted with the urgency that hurricanes Laura and Delta of last year required, but that is now our situation.
We hope that the new head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge, will forget the photo-ops and focus on kicking her bureaucracy into gear to get the money into housing in southwestern Louisiana.
Some aid was also approved for the regions devastated by this year’s Hurricane Ida. A great deal more work will be needed by our state’s delegation in Congress to ensure that another tranche of aid is not left in the mudwrestling of today’s legislative process.
Not enough, but we hope it is a start, not only for the Lake Charles area but our regions devastated by Ida.