Friday, December 09, 2005

Standing in the Way of Recovery

This bill by Rep. Richard Baker (R) might be a good solution to the housing dilema in the New Orleans area. Many people who were flooded find themselves in a Catch-22. Most damaged homes still have a mortgage but are uninhabitable or destroyed but with not enough or no insurance money to to do the repairs, homeowners are unable to move forward with rebuilding or pay off the mortgage. This plan would offer residents a way out.

Unfourtantely, the pols of Lousiana oppose any rebuilding plan that does not involve passing relief money through their hands. As usual, state politians are screwing their constituants in order to enrich themselves and their friends.

Should this bill become law - which I hope it does - I'm concerned that the character of many New Orleans neighborhoods will be lost and become "cookie-cutter" developments like Dallas or Atlanta. I would like to see some provision whereby the original owner has some say in the final design of the home (within the budetary constraints of the project) to ensure some diversity of design and retain some semblance of the original kalidescope of styles that once dotted these old New Orleans neighborhoods.

UPDATE: The U.S Congress pass a resolution approving Rep. Baker's bill. Now on the Senate. Good luck, it'll need it.

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