Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Road Home-less Program

Governor Kathleen Blanco's Road Home Program has been taking criticism from all directions due to the slooooowwww pace of distributing checks to flooded homeowners. Now, City Business has take up the task of tracking the rate of progress (or lack thereof) the the Road Home Program in making people whole.

Since last week, almost 2,000 homeowners have made their selections and mailed back their Benefit Option Letters to The Road Home. Since last week, almost 2,000 homeowners have made

However, just 56 of 85,256 applpicants have been paid. The average claim being paid totals $51,452.

Homeowners are marking their choices to stay in their homes, relocate to new homes in Louisiana or sell their homes and move out of state.

In November, The Road Home mailed more than 10,000 letters to homeowners, detailing their options and informing them of the award amounts for which they are eligible.

Upon receiving a homeowner’s letter, program officials are entering each homeowner’s response into the system and are compiling reports detailing the choices that homeowners are making. This information will be released as soon as it is available.

The Road Home is working to ensure that homeowners understand the content of their letters. Each homeowner who has received a letter will also receive a phone call from a program representative to answer any questions they may have about their awards or the closing process.

Some phone calls have already been made to applicants. Homeowners should carefully read the instructions contained within the letter when making their choice. Those homeowners with questions about their letters are encouraged to call The Road Home hotline at (888) ROAD-2-LA and choose prompt No. 6. Staffing at the call center is being increased on a daily basis to accommodate the expected influx of homeowner calls.

Since the program began sometime around early October, just 56 checks have been mailed. At that rate, all applicants should be made whole about 270 years from now. I understand that the wheels of government turn slowly, but this is ridiculous.

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