Tuesday, September 2, 2008
While we can be very thankful that hurricane Gustav did not batter Louisiana and Mississippi nearly as badly as Katrina did three years ago, the anniversary also brought some assessment of the government land use projects that were adopted after the feeling of shame over government failings in the days immediately after Katrina. Both the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the New York Times printed stories that were highly critical of the multi-billion-dollar federally funded project that was supposed to pay for Louisiana residents who lacked decent insurance to return and rebuild their homes. The chief problem has been that the state government has imposed so many bureaucratic hurdles and delays –- in large part to avoid fraud, always a concern in Louisiana –- that the money simply has been too slow for most former residents. Those who could pay to return have done so, and many who hoped to rely on Road Home assistance have found the bureaucracy quite maddening.
This story offers a lesson for proposals to help those in mortgage crises and for other federal land use assistance plans.
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