recovery

The Other Industry That's Too Big to Fail

Oct 30, 2014
Eve Troeh

The New Jersey Sandy recovery service center had so few chairs that some customers had to wait while standing in long lines. The firm used software taken off the Internet and full of bugs. Homeowners were directed to make appointments through a call center, but employees were never told when they would show up.

That is what Sandy victims faced when they came to one of nine intake centers set up to distribute long-term federal aid to homeowners, David, a former employee, said. He said he and his colleagues wanted to help, but met repeated obstacles.

About 130 homes and residential lots throughout New Orleans will go on auction this weekend.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority will sell the properties at Saturday’s auction with no minimum prices.

The event will be held in Hall H at the Morial Convention Center.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m., with the auction starting at 11 a.m. Organizers recommend preregistering. Online bidding also is available.

Eve Abrams

Harmony Neighborhood Development focuses on the revitalization of Central City New Orleans. By eliminating blight, constructing high-quality homes, providing homeownership services, and developing small-scale commercial areas, Harmony partners with residents in the development of a vibrant Central City.  The La Salle Corridor is a key site of community empowerment, economic inclusion, and collaboration.

Edward Woods has had a barbershop on La Salle Street since 1971.

Jesus Rodriguez / Flickr

A federal judge has ruled that nearly 4,000 homeowners who say Chinese drywall ruined their homes are eligible to share any further damages he may award in lawsuits against a government-owned manufacturer that failed to show up in court.

Attorney Leonard Davis of New Orleans said Monday that notices were sent Friday to the homeowners in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Virginia, Texas and Alabama.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon certified all plaintiffs in nine lawsuits last week as members of a class-action suit against Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd.

NWFblogs / Flickr

Louisiana will receive $340 million from oil giant BP for coastal restoration projects in the state.

The payout was given final approval today by BP’s trustees.

The oil company must pay for damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, under the rules of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment program.

Louisiana plans to use the money for “outer coast restoration,” including rebuilding barrier islands in the state.

Beach, dune, and marsh habitat creation projects are planned for four islands in the state, including Whiskey Island and Shell Island.

Derek Bridges / Flickr

City officials are hoping to clear 1,200 lots of tall grass and trash in New Orleans in the next year, the Advocate reports.

It’s part of the latest push to eradicate blight, helped along by a new ordinance passed by the City Council in February authorizing city workers to clean up trash or overgrown grass without a hearing.

Under the new system, homeowners have one week to fix problems after a property has been cited by an inspector. If it’s not fixed, the cost for cleanup is added to the owner’s property tax bill.

kris krüg / Wikimedia

BP wanted its money back — hundreds of millions of dollars of it — but a federal judge says the oil giant must stick by an agreement with companies that got payouts after claiming the 2010 Gulf oil spill hurt their business.

BP argued Wednesday that a flawed funding formula in the settlement is giving money to businesses for questionable claims, and they should be forced to return it.

But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier says a deal is a deal. Barbier had ordered the formula changed several weeks ago

On Rita Anniversary, Story Of A Small Town Comeback

Sep 24, 2014
Ed Lallo / Louisiana Seafood News

Wednesday marks the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Rita's landfall in Texas, and the flooding of the Louisiana coast. Western parishes like Cameron, Vermilion and Iberia were hit hard. Plus, Rita added a whole new layer to the unprecedented damage of Katrina and the floods of just a few weeks prior.

BP will be asking a federal judge in New Orleans today to approve refunding some settlement payments over the 2010 oil spill.

The company says hundreds of millions of dollars should be returned from some businesses that received payments between August 2012 to October of last year.

BP says it's fair because Judge Carl Barbier found the formula used at that time was incorrect, and ordered a change.

Opposing attorneys say BP is trying to get out of its obligations. They say the release plaintiffs sign to get a settlement payment is a binding agreement for both sides.

Congress is taking a look at veterans hospitals under construction — including the one taking shape in New Orleans.

It comes after a report found some medical centers are taking longer and costing more than estimated.

The House has passed a bill to increase oversight.

The report found some medical centers are taking three years longer to complete than estimated, and costing an extra $366 million per project.

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