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Letter To The Honorable Mercedes M. Márquez, Assistant Secretary For Community Planning And Development, U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development

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Location: Washington, DC

Letter To The Honorable Mercedes M. Márquez, Assistant Secretary For Community Planning And Development, U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development

Congressman Steve Scalise recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development asking them to work with the Louisiana Recovery Authority in developing, approving and implementing the Community Development Block Grant program for citizens adversely affected by toxic Chinese drywall.

A copy of his letter is below.

September 28, 2009

The Honorable Mercedes M. Márquez
Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20410

Dear Assistant Secretary Márquez:

As you may know, in its most recent legislative session, the Louisiana Legislature passed legislation requiring the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) to develop a program to provide for the identification and remediation of toxic Chinese drywall. This program will provide much needed relief to the citizens of Louisiana who have been affected by this drywall and, in some cases, forced to rebuild their homes.

The LRA has dedicated $5 million in Community Development Block Grants for this program, which is an important first step toward fulfilling the Legislature's mandate. The LRA is currently in the process of designing the program and making it available for public comment. As required by law, the LRA also has to submit any action plan creating this program to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its approval.

I write today in strong support of this initiative and to request that HUD work closely with the LRA in developing this action plan. I am also urging HUD to expedite the approval process once the program is developed and the plan is submitted to you for approval. Implementation of this program will allow the LRA to move forward in its remediation efforts, and will help the citizens of Louisiana who have been adversely affected by toxic drywall repair the damage that has been done to their property.

It is clear that toxic Chinese drywall is wreaking havoc in homes and posing serious health threats to people throughout Southeast Louisiana. Therefore, it is imperative that this program be developed, approved and implemented as quickly as possible.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently conducting its own federal investigation into toxic Chinese Drywall. I have been assured by CPSC Chairwomen Inez Tenebaum that the report will be released in the next few weeks, and will provide answers and solutions for homeowners impacted by this toxic Chinese Drywall.

If my office can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. This issue is a high priority of mine, and I would appreciate your keeping me informed of the progress and status of this program. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Steve Scalise
Member of Congress


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