Key recommendations include:
- Deploy relief quickly and equitably throughout the region by putting funds into the hands of local community organizations that understand the people and know where the greatest needs are. Utilize direct, advance payments rather than reimbursement model of funding.
- Take immediate action to enact a moratorium on evictions and move with greater urgency to deploy the rental assistance funds directly into the hands of tenants at risk of being forced from their homes.
- Prioritize community input in any rebuilding efforts to avoid reinforcing existing inequities in our systems and processes. Furthermore, relief funds should be based on the extent of the damage incurred and not on pre-existing conditions which are embedded with historic racial disparities.
- Invest now in infrastructure to support communities of color in the Deep South, not only in response to Hurricane Ida but also in response to previous disasters from Hurricane Katrina to the most recent water crisis caused by the 2021 winter storm. As Congress debates investments in infrastructure, there must be sufficient investment to prevent and withstand future disasters.