Sunday, January 28, 2007

Comparing Home Grant Programs

Mississippi

Total Applications: 17,600
Eligible: 14,471
Closings Calculated: 11,827 (80.5% of total, 81.7% of eligible)
Paid: 10,002 (56.8% of total, 69.1% of eligible)
$ Paid: $665,404,722
Average $ Paid: $66,527
Louisiana
Total Applications: 101,657
Closings Calculated: 30,357 (29.8% of total)
Average $ Calculated: $82,581
Paid: 258
Estimated $ Paid: $21,305,898 (Average $ Calculated times Number of Paid)
If we were up to Mississippi’s speed and had paid 56.8% of our total applications (57,741), at their Average $ Paid ($66,527), we would have paid out $3,841,335,507.

For perspective, consider that in January 2006, one year ago, the first round of Community Development Block Grants was given out.

Mississippi received $5,058,185,000.

Louisiana received $6,210,000,000.

Mississippi got 86.8% more in that first round of CDBGs than it has paid out more than halfway through their housing plan. If we had paid out at the same rate at Mississippi’s lower average payment, we would have used up over half (61%) of our first allocation. In fact, assuming our average calculated payment remains consistent at $82,581, we will completely use up that first allocation about three quarters of the way through our total applications.

What is my point? Though Mississippi and Louisiana are using similar grant programs, their progress can not be similarly compared. Louisiana’s destruction was greater in scale and complexity and was grossly under-funded at the offset.

Having said that, 258 closings out of 101,657 applications is abysmal. And Mississippi should be congratulated for their able administering of their home grant program.

4 comments:

bayoustjohndavid said...

Also, Mississippi did get its money six months earlier. The only place I recall seeing that in the Picayune was in one John Maginnis column and he doesn't work for the the T/P. I started to write a post questioning the integrity of the T/P for leaving it out if their editorial Thursday, but the fact that her critics engage in overkill doesn't make me want to waste too much space defending her program. Still, I sometimes think the paper compensates for its reluctance to criticize the mayor by going after the governor.

da po' boy said...

That's the big difference. We could not even begin a program like Mississippi's until we got the second round of CDBGs.

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Schroeder said...

"It's the president."

"Yeah, but what about the governor."

"And the mayor."

It's a round-robin where citizens lose. Everyone in the press is doing it. Fundamentally, if that jackass in the White House wanted federal dollars to be spent wisely and expeditiously to benefit victims, not contractors, he could get it done.