Secretary Julián Castro Tours Gulf Coast for Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
Gulfport, Mississippi — August 27, 2015 — On Thursday, Aug. 27, Governor Phil Bryant, Senator Thad Cochran, Senator Roger Wicker and Representative Steven Palazzo hosted Julián Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on a tour of the Mississippi Gulf Coast to see the progress made in the 10 years following Hurricane Katrina.
Nominated by President Barack Obama as Secretary of HUD in May 2014 and sworn in in July 2014, Secretary Castro began the tour with a visit to the Port of Gulfport to view the progress made there since Hurricane Katrina as a result of the Port of Gulfport Restoration Program. He then participated in a windshield tour of Highway 90, which highlighted housing and infrastructure projects that have been completed using Katrina-Community Development Block Grant funds. Following Hurricane Katrina, the state of Mississippi was allotted more than $5.4 billion through HUD to assist in the long-term recovery and restoration of housing and infrastructure in areas most affected by the storm.
“The funds allotted to Mississippi by Congress through HUD following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina have played a tremendous role in rebuilding our coastal counties and restoring the vibrant communities that make the Mississippi Gulf Coast so unique, and we are pleased to showcase this progress for Secretary Castro,” Gov. Bryant said. “Businesses are back and thriving, roads and bridges once again link our coastal cities, and homes have been rebuilt. We have come a long way in 10 years thanks to support from HUD and our federal partners, the generosity of people around the country, and the strength and determination of the residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the entire state.”
“Mississippians have shown that it is possible to triumph in the face of great tragedy through a spirit of resilience, partnership and faith. HUD has been proud to partner with state and local officials to put billions of federal dollars to work for the people of Mississippi who chose to rebuild and come home. When we speak of Katrina, we must also speak of the remarkable determination of Mississippi’s people to rebuild a stronger, more prosperous community for future generations,” Secretary Castro said.
From the collective efforts of state, federal and local partnerships, there is more housing inventory on the Mississippi Gulf Coast than there was prior to Katrina. Infrastructure on the Coast is being rebuilt and hardened to help withstand damage from future storms and investments have been made to create new job opportunities for residents through economic development.
The $5.49 billion in K-CDBG funding has been allocated for housing, infrastructure, and economic development and administered by the Mississippi Development Authority’s Disaster Recovery Division.
During the course of these programs, Mississippi’s recovery efforts have been cited as best practices by HUD. Additionally, strong oversight and transparency have resulted less than 1 percent of confirmed fraud.