[StBernard] Walter Leger Issues Statement on Road Home First Appointment

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sun Dec 16 23:10:35 EST 2007

LRA Housing Chair Walter Leger Attends
Road Home First Appointment

NEW ORLEANS (December 15, 2007) - Today Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) Housing Task Force Chairman Walter Leger issued the following statement regarding his first appointment with the Road Home program.

"The Road Home reached an important milestone today, and I want to be the first to congratulate ICF on holding more than 167,792 first appointments since the program got off the ground less than 16 months ago," Leger said.

"As an outspoken advocate and critic of the Road Home, I have long said I would be the last homeowner that is served by this program. There were some days when it seemed this day would never come. But now that the Road Home has been fully funded and ICF has worked diligently to improve the program, I attended my first appointment today with confidence.

"But as we celebrate progress, it's important that we also recognize that there is still much room for improvement as is evidenced by the KPMG report that was released last week. We fully expect that ICF will not only meet their end of the year obligation to close 90,000 grants, but we also expect that they will use lessons learned from KPMG report and recommendations that are forthcoming from the RAND study to continually improve the quality and pace of the program. We cannot, we must not, we will not rest until every homeowner receives the assistance they need to rebuild."

As the very last Road Home applicant to hold a first appointment with the program, Leger met with a Road Home advisor at 4 pm this afternoon at the St. Bernard Housing Assistance Center near his Arabi home, which was inundated by 14 feet of water in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent failure of the federal levee system.

The LRA developed the Road Home program, which is administered by the Division of Administration Office of Community Development (OCD) through its contractor ICF International.

In addition to holding more than 167,792 first appointments, the Road Home has closed on 79,018 grants totaling more than $4.9 billion that have been paid directly to Louisiana homeowners. The Road Home is also expected to meet its contractual obligation to close 90,000 grants by December 31, 2007.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


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