Agency gets Katrina funding 2 years later

Aug. 15, 2007 at 12:28 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A Louisiana agency created to maintain residential properties devastated by Hurricane Katrina two years ago finally is set to receive operating funding.

The announcement of $30 million for the non-profit Road Home Corp. came after the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Sunday the group only had been given enough for start-up costs as thousands of derelict homes rot and collapse amid waist-high grass.

Road Home was created by the state Legislature a year ago to acquire and manage properties after the devastating hurricane in August 2005.

The corporation only has a $2.5 million line of credit, which is entirely insufficient to start a $3.2 million contract to secure and maintain 1,000 properties, the newspaper said.

By the end of the year, Road Home had expected to acquire as many as 9,000 properties.

Tuesday, the state Office of Community Development agreed to add $30 million from the state's line of credit to Road Home, said Mike Taylor, head of OCD's Disaster Recovery Unit.

Road Home's budget shows maintenance and security for 9,000 properties should cost $23 million, while another $16.6 million will be needed for buyout closing costs and recording fees, the newspaper said.

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