NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Recent court rulings could make life easier for families who felt shorted in the amount of money they received to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, analysts say.
The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune said Sunday that a federal appeals court ruled late last month that Louisiana should set aside more funds in its Road Home program possibly to pay out to around 25,000 families.
Legal analysts say the appeals court order could open the door to a lower court in Washington that had ruled the state should not base its payments on pre-storm home values. U.S. District Court Judge Henry Kennedy has said the 11th amendment prevented retroactive payments to families already paid under Road Home.
"The appellate court ruling means there is a strong possibility that Judge Kennedy will be able to direct the state to award additional money to people who have already received Road Home grants based on pre-storm value," said James Perry, president of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. "We are hopeful it will make clear that additional compensation should be based on cost of repairs, rather than on pre-storm value."
The newspaper said the current Road Home formula left some Katrina homeowners in a lurch because their pre-storm homes were valued below the money it was costing them to rebuild.