New Orleans Official Offers Perspectives On Sandy Rebuilding

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. May 8, 2013

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james Perry speaks at a conference in Trenton (photo by Phil Gregory)

An official who helped New Orleans rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is offering some perspectives on the challenges facing New Jersey, in recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

James Perry is executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. He says rebuilding from Sandy will be difficult, but he's urging residents not to give up.

  "Everyone has to exercise patience because this is probably the most difficult process that people will experience over the course of their lives. For folks who've had their homes destroyed by this disaster recovery will not be easy and it will take a very long time."

Perry says while government programs to help homeowners recover from Sandy are going slowly, they can make communities stronger than they were before the storm.

"People from New Jersey are resilient, and people from New Jersey don't give up. So I know it's easy to walk away, but the fact is it's pretty clear that even though these programs are operating slowly the government is on the side of the people of New Jersey."

Perry’s concern with the New Jersey recovery plan is whether it provides for enough affordable housing so there are opportunities for low and middle-income residents to find a place to live.

"When we're talking about rebuilding these communities, if they're going to be full communities where you have grocery stores, where you have schools, where you have fire stations, and police officers, who's going to work those jobs? The people who work those jobs are everyday Americans who need safe, decent affordable housing."



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