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HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge tours New Orleans area hurricane damage

Fudge toured two residential buildings for seniors and a hospital
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 8:11 PM CDT
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HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge tours Westminster Tower in Kenner, a residential complex for seniors.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge tours Westminster Tower in Kenner, a residential complex for seniors.(Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The nation’s Housing and Urban Development chief spent the day in the New Orleans area touring Hurricane Ida damage.

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge first stopped at Westminster Tower, a residential complex for senior citizens in Kenner, a suburb just outside the city of New Orleans.

“Just even from the airport certainly you can see the remnants of all of the damage, and I’m just really excited about the fact that I can possibly help. The president and HUD and all of government, the Congress, my former colleagues here are all trying to find out how we can move government faster,” Fudge said after that tour.

She was joined there by Congressmen Troy Carter and Steve Scalise who represent portions of Louisiana in Congress.

“I have asked Speaker Pelosi to assemble a delegation of bipartisan members of the house, Republicans and Democrats to come down, to see firsthand, to recognize that this is not just widgets these are people’s lives, these are people, this is real, there’s real pain, there’s real suffering and Steve and I have worked very hard together to make people understand that hurricanes are not partisan and the people that the people who are suffering throughout the state of Louisiana of Louisiana deserve help,” said Carter.

Scalise said he wants to make sure communities have greater flexibility in using some federal funds they receive.

“To try to get their parishes back up and running who were hit the hardest by Hurricane Ida and so we were talking to Secretary Fudge about Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery specifically because that does fall under HUD, that’s one of the things we’re working to get into a Supplemental Appropriations Bill because it would allow Secretary Fudge to work closely with local leaders who need that flexible money, not rigid money where it can only be spent in one way but money where they can actually help to get families back in their houses,” Scalise stated.

Around lunchtime Fudge toured the Guste high-rise building in the inner-city section of New Orleans, where seniors also live.

Her last stop was the New Orleans East Hospital where Governor John Bel Edwards was present along with Carter, Mayor Latoya Cantrell, and members of the state legislature who represent New Orleans.

“We look forward to you, working with you Secretary Fudge so that we can build back better because just like this hospital was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, we’ve got hospitals in Terrebonne Parish and in St. Charles Parish that were destroyed in Hurricane Ida and they’re publicly owned hospitals and we look forward to building them back better,” said Edwards.

At the hospital, Fudge repeated what she says is the Biden administration’s commitment to seeing Louisiana recover from the catastrophic storm.

“The old folks used to say what don’t kill you makes you strong and I know that we are stronger every time we survive one of these kinds of storms but I’m just here to say to you today that I work for a president who does understand your problems and understands your needs and has directed me to be sure that I can come and talk to you about what we can do for you but also say to you that it has to be done in a way that everybody benefits, there must be equity,” said Fudge.

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