A buyout plan for flooded homes is in the works so that homeowners can finally get some financial relief. The article in the Times-Picayune is not clear about the source of the funding, but five parish presidents are in favor of this plan at least in priniciple.
For those that qualify, this plan would be more generous than the Baker Bill that offered up to 60% of the homeowners equity whereas the "Failed Levees Homeowner Recovery Program", as Mayor Nagin as referred to it, will give 100% of the homeowners equity up to $150,000 minus any insurance settlement.
This is good news if it in fact comes to fruition however there a few drawbacks:
- It only applies to people whose homes received more than two feet of water. Someone with 18" of water is SOL, even though the amount of damage is the same.
- It does not address the losses by insurance companies as a result of negligence on the part of the federal government. Homeowners in the area will still be burdened by significantly higher flood insurance.
As for the many homes that flooded in Jefferson Parish due pumps not being manned, blame for that cannot be levied against the federal government, that blame goes squarely to Parish President Aaron Broussard who evacuated the pump operators - against their wishes - to Washing Parish ahead of Hurricane Katrina. During the twelve hours it took for the pump operators to return, thousands of homes flooded, most with just a few inches of water.
And as usual, when the government screws up, average citizens are left to pick up the peices and the officials responsible look for someone to pin the blame.