Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bobby's letter to Kathleen.

What follows is the text of Bobby Jindal’s letter to Governor Blanco and to Legislative Leaders regarding the solvency of the Road Home program.

May 1, 2007

Dear Governor Blanco and Legislative Leaders:

I was recently visiting the Road Home website to check the progress of the program’s outlays to homeowners and became concerned when I began to review the information provided.

My office receives calls everyday regarding the Road Home program and I hope there is a reasonable explanation in the discrepancy in these numbers that will ensure everyone eligible will receive the assistance they have been promised.

After looking at the publicly available numbers, I became alarmed that at the current pace of distributions, the Road Home program may not have enough money to satisfy the applications that have already been submitted.

Based on the numbers provided, it appears to me:

* $6.3 billion of the $10 billion federal government grant to Louisiana is available for these Road Home awards.

* 68,111 applications have been approved with benefits calculated, for a total of $5.1 billion.

* The average grant amount to date is roughly $75,000.

* There continues to be 59,000 applications that have yet to be processed, with additional applications being received daily.

* If all 59,000 grant applications that have not been processed were to be awarded at the $75,000 average rate the total additional awards required would be $4.4 billion.

If these numbers are even close to accurate, then the Road Home Program will not have the revenues to provide grants to all duly qualified applicants. I understand that once Louisiana is able to get through FEMA’s red tape, we should realize additional money that can be used for specific Road Home outlays. But even counting this prospective revenue stream, it appears that we are still facing a large shortfall. My staff contacted the state’s vendor, ICF, and their staff confirmed our calculations and conclusions were essentially correct.

As I said, I hope there is a reasonable explanation, and assume that is the case. In any event, I trust that you are monitoring this closely as you enter the legislative session and plan to take appropriate action.


Bobby Jindal
Member of Congress

No comments: