Louisiana has taken plenty of criticism for the slow grant payouts of the Road Home program. But hey let’s seehow Texas is doing…
AUSTIN – Only 13
Texas families whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Rita more than
two years ago have received federal aid, though almost 4,300 families
applied for it, according to an audit critical of state officials who
distributed the money.
Texas more than a half-billion dollars after Hurricane Rita for housing
relief and infrastructure repairs, but the state has used only 2
percent of the money, the report released Thursday said.
And what does Republican Gov. Rick Perry have as an excuse…
Perry, though, says the state has had to guard against abuses of
federal hurricane aid that have occurred in other states.
“Texas, unlike Mississippi and Louisiana, was very careful to not just
hand out blank checks but rather to work with … local government,”
said Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle. “We’d rather be accurate about
how we distribute the funds than just doing it quickly.”
What is he smoking?
The Road Home grants as well asother federal money has not gone out “quickly” in Louisiana andone reason it has been so slow getting to Louisianans is because of multilayered fraud safeguards instituted. For example applicants had to produce mounds of documents showing proof of title, insurance, assessment, payouts to name a few and even had to undergo beingfingerprinted. But more to the point on Perry’s claim, one safeguard was that Louisiana homeowners wouldnotget a direct check but rather they would“receive their grants piecemeal through escrow accounts administered by lending institutions.”
But wait it gets better.
After all the talk of Louisiana is so corrupt so they better have fraud safeguards, it was the federal government, specifically HUD, much to the shock of Louisiana officials, that stepped in this past March just as the program was beginning to improve and said WHOA…the Road Home program had to make lump-sum payments directly to homeowners.And so they did. Something by the wayMississippi had been doing all along so Perry would be right on that account at least. For Louisianans it is a check but certainly not a “blank” one. Though homeowners can conceivably receive up to $150,000 the average payment is$69,390.
And while Rick Perry has paid just 13 of 4300 families, Louisiana’s Road Home programhas recorded 185,895 applications and has now paid 66,314 of those. That’s 36% which could and should be better but it certainly isn’t quickly throwing out checks and given the vast difference in scope well Perry’s paultry stats are horrendously pathetic.
And by the by, the Road Home program also just under went it’s7th audit which the state conducts to check for possible problems, abuse or mistakes.
All of which is to say, Rickshould just STFU about Louisiana.
But what was your excuse again Governor? Possible Abuse? And something like that would never happen under your way of doing things huh? The Dallas Morning News article continues…
He [State housing agency chief Michael Gerber] said that
to speed disbursement of a second, $222 million federal allotment to
assist homeowners, the department will hand off processing and
eligibility determination duties to a private consortium led by
Dallas-based ACS State and Local Solutions Inc.
the company is represented in Austin by six former state legislators
turned lobbyists, one a former top aide to Mr. Perry, Mr. Gerber said
he picked the best bidder and received no pressure to hire ACS. (my emphasis)
ACS’ subcontractors on the project will include Shaw Group Inc. of
Baton Rouge, La., which has drawn scrutiny for receiving millions in
no-bid Hurricane Katrina recovery work from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Shaw has been represented by lobbyist Joe M.
Allbaugh, President Bush’s former campaign manager and the former head
And will the Bush administration now chide, blame or strong arm Texas officials like they have Louisiana’s?
Clay Davis has it…Sheeeeeeeeeeeit
UPDATE: The 13 families live in mobile homes whileGov Perry lives in $9900 /month home while mansion is renovated