[StBernard] LRA Member Walter Leger Issues Statement on Today's Meeting with HUD Officials in Washington
westley at da-parish.com
Tue Mar 20 23:34:28 EDT 2007
LRA Member Walter Leger Issues Statement on Today's Meeting with HUD Officials in Washington
WASHINGTON, DC (March 20, 2007) - Members of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), the state's Office of Community Development (OCD) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials met today to discuss Louisiana's Road Home housing program.
As a result of today's discussions, it is the state's intention for homeowners to have direct access to their Road Home grants. Homeowners without mortgages will be offered lump sum payments and still be subject to the covenants under the program. Banks will likely mandate disbursement accounts for homeowners with mortgages so the LRA committed to negotiating with lenders to make certain homeowners are protected from banks seizing awards to pay down mortgages or to pay arrearages. The LRA intends to make any changes in the program retroactive.
LRA Housing Task Force Chairman Walter Leger issued the statement below following the meeting.
"After meeting with HUD for several hours, we feel good about what we were able to resolve today for homeowners - direct aid and protection from predatory lenders and unscrupulous contractors. And we can do this in a way that will not slow down the program. As somebody who talks to homeowners on a daily basis, both in person and on the radio, I know that last week's news caused many homeowners to rethink their position in the program. HUD officials acknowledged this fact and apologized for not handling the situation differently. The last thing we want is for any change to the program to delay homeowners in getting money for repairs. And we hope this issue has not disrupted anyone's progress. We will work with HUD to improve the program for the good of all homeowners."
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses and inflicting about $25 billion in insured losses. 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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