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Advocates fear billions in Inflation Reduction Act money won’t reach targeted communities

A home in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Ida. (Infrogrmation of New Orleans/Wikimedia Commons)

By Terry L. Jones for Louisiana Illuminator

With billions of dollars in tax credits and federal grants up for grabs in the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, community-led organizations and grassroots environmental advocacy groups in Louisiana could finally get money to help reduce electricity bills, fortify homes against natural disasters and reduce pollution in underserved communities.

That’s if the money trickles down to where it’s supposed to go.

Environmental justice advocates and community organizers are worried the money won’t be spent for the communities intended to receive the money.

Andreanecia Morris, president and chairwoman of the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, is more blunt. She is concerned state policymakers will set impossible parameters meant to block certain segments of the population from getting too much money or none at all.

Morris says often an anti-Black, anti woman “welfare-queen” stereotype is used to block money to Black, minority and lower-income communities.

”They’ll say we’re trying to prevent fraud and abuse while paying disaster profiteers millions of dollars to administer these programs but not actually get the money out the door,” Morris said.

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