White House Cool to Rep. Baker's Katrina Recovery Plan
The White House on Jan. 23 indicated that it would oppose a hurricane recovery plan sponsored by Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.), arguing that the legislation would create an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and could prove to be prohibitively expensive to implement.
Baker’s bill, H.R. 4100, was approved by the House Financial Services Committee in December by a 50-9 vote. The measure would create a “Louisiana Recovery Corporation” designed to prevent the foreclosure of approximately 200,000 hurricane-damaged homes by providing federal financing to pay affected home owners approximately 60% of the equity in their homes. It would also pay off their mortgages.
Administration officials have said they prefer for Louisiana to use its $6.2 billion share of Community Development Block Grant funding that was approved as part of a larger post-Katrina reconstruction plan recently passed by Congress to address housing needs and other recovery efforts.
A companion measure to the Baker bill introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is pending in the Senate. However, the fate of these bills remains highly uncertain given the Administration’s apparent opposition to this plan.
For more information, e-mail Greg Brown at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8421.