New Orleans, La. – Five homeowners and housing advocates sued the government over the way Road Home funds were distributed. They claimed the formula discriminated against blacks by calculating grants on the home's value before the storm. Many blacks lived in neighborhoods with depressed values. Plaintiffs argued that it was unfair to use a pre-storm value, and not the higher price tag of rebuilding.
Secretary Donovan says the federal money will help revitalize blighted communities.
"With the $62 million available though Louisiana's new Blight Reduction Grant Adjustment Program, families in Cameron, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes will have the chance to move back once and for all, regardless of race or status."
Most of the 1,400 affected homeowners are in New Orleans. Donovan says the top priority is to help those who want to return and rebuild, not to buy another property. He says construction advice will be made available, especially to victims of contractor fraud.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming