[StBernard] Road Home Employees Wait On Award Money

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed May 16 23:30:01 EDT 2007

Road Home Employees Wait On Award Money
NEW ORLEANS - If you're still waiting for your Road Home money, you're not
alone. Even those who work for the Road Home program are seeing slow results
because of anti-fraud guidelines. Ernest Legier was waiting for Road Home
money to fix up his gutted home in New Orleans in January.

"I applied. If I remember correctly, my original application and appointment
was in October. ? I had my home evaluation done, my application is going
through the verification process, and I was notified last week that I should
anticipate closing within the next two weeks," he said at the time.

But five months later, Legier is still waiting for his money -- and he works
for the Road Home program.

"I understand that it is a process for you to get to completion to actually
closing. It makes it difficult sometimes to go home to the Mrs. and have to
explain that," he said.

Legier is deputy director of field operations for the Road Home. He said
about 600 employees work at centers and about 125 have applied for funds.

But not many have received their awards. "It would have to be less than 10,"
he said.

Legier said strict anti-fraud guidelines are part of the reason for the slow

"You can't check on the status of your application -- there's nothing that
you can do internally that a normal applicant can't do externally to
facilitate your application. You can't have another employee look your
application. They can't help you in any way, so, in actuality they're
hindered by being Road Home employees," he said.

Program managers are trying to find a better way for employees to get
information and guidance on their applications, Legier said.

So far, the Road Home program has received 105,000 applications and closed
on just more than 15,000.

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