Friday, April 07, 2006

We Have a Partially-funded Plan

Mississippi already got their housing plan approved by HUD and can start using their community development block grant money.

Now, Louisiana has a plan (pdf). Actually, we have two plans – Plan A (Fully-funded), which is dependent on the extra $4.2 billion dollars in CDBG funds pending in the Senate right now, and Plan B (Partially-funded), which uses what we have already in CDBG money but would help about half as many residents.

The T-P spells out Plan A:
The proposal offers insured homeowners and those who were flooded outside the flood plain up to $150,000 to help them repair or tear down a house and rebuild in place, as well as to relocate within the state. Insurance payments and awards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be deducted from the damage estimates used to calculate the grant.

People who want to leave Louisiana would be limited to a buyout worth 60 percent of their house's pre-Katrina value. Homeowners who lived inside the flood plain, but did not have flood insurance, will have to take a 30 percent reduction on their grant package, although state officials have said that affordable loans will be available to ensure those families can rebuild.
And here are the limitations of Plan B as presented in “The Road Home”:
Because Congress has not fully funded The Road Home to meet the need of all homeowners, this Action Plan amendment must limit assistance to homeowners within the following categories, provided that program costs do not exceed projections:

-- Owners whose homes lay outside the FEMA flood plain and were flooded, and

-- Owners with incomes at or below 70% of area median income (AMI), adjusted for household size, with any type of damage.
What’s the difference?
A partially funded plan would cover about 67,000 homeowners whose flooded homes were outside the flood plain or who are living on a low income.

The hurricanes destroyed or severely damaged 122,000 owner-occupied homes.
In an earlier post, I decried the lack of a backup plan if we don’t get the extra $4.2 billion. At first, I thought Plan B was a backup plan. Then I thought again.

You can’t say, “I have a plan to achieve my goals,” and then, when you only get half the money you need, say, “I am only going to achieve half my goals.” That’s not a backup plan. That’s a half-done plan.

If your plan is to have a full ass, and you only get half of an ass, then you have a half-ass plan.

Whether full funding or partial funding is approved by Congress, no funding will be forthcoming for a while:
Owners of flood-damaged houses looking for help from the state to rebuild should not expect to get any money until at least late summer.
Late summer, like August 29th?


bayoustjohndavid said...

I'm not trying to let the state off the hook, but I don't see how there could have been a true backup plan. Partly for political reasons and partly because of the greater sticker shock, the federal government (both congress and administration) will try to find a reason to kill any La. plan that's anywhere near as comprehensive as the Miss. plan ut will find some reason to object to any modification of plan A.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Sorry for that lousy typing and grammar, that "ut" should have been "but" which should have been "and". I'm not endorsing plan B, BTW. No modifications to plan A should compromise because we were hurt more than Mississippi.