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Statement from Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater on Resolution to Road Home Discrimination Lawsuit

July 6, 2011

BATON ROUGE - Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater issued the following statement today regarding the resolution of a long-standing discrimination lawsuit against Louisiana's Road Home program, which has paid more than $8.8 billion to homeowners to rebuild after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Rainwater said, "Our goal in Louisiana has always been to provide the resources necessary to allow residents impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita to return home, regardless of race or status. We recognize that many households face remaining challenges in their rebuilding efforts, and we are hopeful that additional assistance through our Blight Reduction Grant Adjustment and other rebuilding programs will help bring even more Louisiana families home. I am glad that we will be able to close this chapter of the Road Home and to move forward.

"Since January 2008, we have put action behind our promise to assist those still struggling by increasing the amount of funding available to homeowners in the Road Home program. Since that time, we have removed the cap on the Additional Compensation Grant program for lower income Road Home applicants, re-launched the stalled Road Home elevation program, increased the amount of hazard mitigation dollars available to homeowners and launched an Individual Mitigation Measures program to help fund small-scale improvements like storm shutters and hurricane straps.

"The state continued this push to increase resources available to homeowners by creating the Blight Reduction Grant Adjustment program to benefit some homeowners who may have received less grant money to rebuild because of their home's low pre-storm value. In neighborhoods all across South Louisiana - but particularly in New Orleans - rebuilt homes are sprouting up, returning people to their communities, jobs and schools. It is our hope that all of our efforts will continue this trend."

The Road Home program, which is the largest home rebuilding program in American history, is funded using Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to Louisiana by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In total, the state of Louisiana's recovery programs have paid an unprecedented sum to Road Home applicants, a total of more than $8.8 billion to 128,568 homeowners. The total compensation to individual homeowners through the Road Home is capped at $150,000, with some homeowners eligible for up to $100,000 more through the FEMA-funded, state-run, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

The total funding paid to Louisiana homeowners includes:

  • More than $2.1 billion through the Additional Compensation Grant program - paid on top of the traditional Road Home compensation grant - to 45,979 homeowners with lower or more modest incomes;
  • More than $925 million to 31,836 homeowners in elevation funds through the Road Home program;
  • More than $76 million to homeowners in the Individual Mitigation Measures program, with millions more in the pipeline to be paid;
  • More than $4.2 billion in the city of New Orleans alone, including $1.1 billion in Additional Compensation Grant program funds in the city;
  • More than $4.75 billion directly to homeowners with low to moderate incomes, which represents 54 percent of all program funds; and
  • More than $272 million paid through the HMGP to 6,462 homeowners, with millions more in the pipeline to be paid to homeowners.

The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.