Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Flashback! On 11/05/07 a Times Picayune editorial stated:
11 months after the state landed $75 million, not a single [Katrina] cottage has gone up — and that’s a disgrace.
In a strongly-worded letter to the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency delivered in November 2007, Governor Kathleen “Queen Bee” Blanco agreed, saying:
The LHFA is strangling this project in red tape…. [its] inability to deliver the first cottage is unconscionable.
You will begin construction on the first set of cottages before the end of November. There will be no ceremonial groundbreaking. You will commence construction posthaste…
Then I wrote:
[N]ow all these embarrassing delays [comfort] all the Bushies and all the Louisiana haters who think we are too stupid and corrupt to self-govern. “It’s no use, they’ll just waste it… look at Mississippi…etc”.
I am hopeful that Governor Jindal will be a huge improvement over Blanco in terms of cutting red tape and dealing with sluggish state bureacracies.
Item! From the front page of today’s Times Picayune (now only $.75 a copy):
Public officials say they have made progress on an alternative housing program in the seven months since Gov. Bobby Jindal stripped the project from the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency and gave it to the Louisiana Recovery Authority.
But through two governors, two contracts with the same builder and a change in the state agency responsible for oversight, none of the projected 500 or so Louisiana Cottages have been built; and there are no groundbreakings scheduled for Louisiana’s $75 million share of the $400 million pilot program that Congress authorized in 2006.
Mississippi has 2,810 cottages in place. Louisiana, zero. Governor Blanco ordered the LHFA to begin construction eleven months ago, and they didn’t get it done. Then Governor Jindal gave the project to the LRA, and they haven’t gotten it done. If the delays were “unconscionable” eleven months ago… what are they now? Criminal?
Also, as mominem noted in the comments last year, Treasurer John N. Kennedy suggested that the Road Home program should be administered through the hapless Louisiana Housing Finance Agency.