The countdown is on- we need to raise $200,000- help us reach our goal by tomorrow. Donate Now

Hurricane Katrina reimbursement

Scott Tong Jul 17, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

CHERYL GLASER: It’s been almost 11 months since Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast. And this week, the first federal checks should finally go out to people who lost their homes in the storm. As Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports, homeowners will get up to $150,000 apiece.


SCOTT TONG: About $10 billion dollars is on the way. That’s an unprecedented amount of housing recovery money.

Mississippi homeowners can use the money essentially as cash, They can rebuild on the same site, move to higher ground, even restock the 401K, whatever.

Which makes David Williams nervous. He’s with Citizens Against Government Waste.

DAVID WILLIAMS: We saw this with the debit cards when they were first handed out after the hurricane hit. People were given $2,000 dollars in cash. And we saw what happened there. People used it for professional football tickets, they went to strip clubs, they used it for plasma screen TVs.

Louisiana is more old-school government. It wants to lure people back to the state, so homeowners have to spend their grants rebuilding in Louisiana.

If they don’t, they get less money.

In Washington, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.