9 Years After Katrina, Feds Forgive $391M in Disaster Debt

August 29, 2014

Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, the government has forgiven $391 million in disaster loans for Louisiana, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That's 95.5 percent of the Katrina-related disaster loans.

In 2005, the House authorized disaster loans for communities hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, and the failure of federally built levees, but, in a break from past precedent, barred loan forgiveness. Two separate bills, sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and backed by the entire Louisiana and Mississippi delegations, in 2007 and 2013, allowed the loans go be written off.

 "Communities across Southeast Louisiana suffered once from Katrina and levees collapsing, but then they suffered again when the federal government saddled them with unfair debt," Landrieu said. "But with years of persistence and support from local leaders, we worked together to create a commonsense formula that has rightly cancelled more than $391 million in community disaster loans from Hurricane Katrina."