Vice President Joe Biden poses for a picture during an event where recovery from Hurricane Katrina was discussed, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, in New Orleans.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government will begin granting loan forgiveness to cities devastated by the hurricanes of 2005, citing their weakened financial conditions, Vice President Joseph Biden said on Friday.
"Today's loan forgiveness announcement is just another example of our common-sense approach to rebuilding in the region -- we're removing unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and providing faster turnaround on assistance," he said in New Orleans which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, according to a statement.
Following the one-two punch of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, cities along the Gulf Coast in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were granted special disaster loans to continue operating as they rebuilt. But some have struggled with financial problems associated with the storms and with the recession that began barely two years after the disaster.
Cities that had operating deficits for three full fiscal years following the storms can apply for the forgiveness.
(...) The loan forgiveness process will be published next week and will go into effect 60 days after, according to the Vice President's office.
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