Temporary Transitional Housing on State Property

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency was declared through Proclamation No. 48 KBB 2005, as amended, and Proclamation No. 54 KBB 2005, and Proclamation No. 53 KBB 2005;

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the governor of the state of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane or other natural or man-made causes, to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters, and to preserve the lives and property of the citizens of the state of Louisiana;

WHEREAS, Hurricane Katrina struck the southeastern part of the state of Louisiana and Hurricane Rita struck the southwestern part of the state causing severe and extensive flooding and other damage, rendering thousands of our citizens temporarily without housing;

WHEREAS, in addition to housing totally destroyed by the storms and flooding, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita has also resulted in the disruption of essential utilities, including water and electric, in several areas of the southern part of the state which has led to dangerous and unsanitary conditions in housing partially damaged;

WHEREAS, many Louisiana citizens displaced from their homes are currently living with family and friends or in hurricane evacuation shelters or hotels and motels located throughout the state and throughout the country;

WHEREAS, R.S. 29:724(D)(2) authorizes the governor during a state of emergency to utilize all available resources of the state government and of each political subdivision of the state as reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster or emergency;

WHEREAS, R.S. 29:724(D)(9) specifically authorizes the governor to issue executive orders necessary to make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing; and

WHEREAS, it has become necessary to utilize available and vacant state property for purposes of temporary transitional housing for Louisiana's thousands of displaced citizens whose housing was destroyed or seriously damaged by the storms and its aftermath until such time as the evacuees are able to return to their homes or obtain alternate long-term housing;

NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: State-owned property may be used for temporary, transitional housing for displaced Louisiana evacuees. Any local ordinance which purports to prohibit the use of such property for residential purposes is hereby suspended.

SECTION 2: Nothing in this Order shall be construed to waive any other restrictions, or required permits, construction code standards or similar standards established to promote the health, safety, and welfare of Louisiana citizens who will be residing in such temporary, transitional housing.

SECTION 3: Permitting and inspection agencies are hereby directed to prioritize requests by contractors, state agencies or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for permits and inspections that directly relate to such temporary, transitional housing in order to expedite the readiness of such housing. Inspections and processes required to be performed for issuance of necessary permits allowing the placement and construction of temporary housing shall:

A. Be performed within three business days; or

B. Be specifically documented by the permitting authority as to why the proposed plan for emergency housing cannot be accomplished, or permit can not be issued to the requesting authority in writing.

SECTION 4: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the implementation of the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 5: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 6th day of October, 2005.

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

Al Ater
Secretary of State