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$5 million Chinese drywall assistance program likely to be delayed

The Associated Press recently ran a piece outlining the delays that will be faced in the $5 million assistance program established in Louisiana to assist in the removal of Chinese drywall in homes. While the project was set to help homeowners repair the wrongs created by the toxic wallboard, it appears that a myriad of bureaucracy and red tape may slow the track to recovery.

The program would be limited to homeowners with the drywall who received aid through the Road Home program after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The help would only flow once federal officials devise a national standard for drywall testing and remediation, and state officials acknowledged it’s not clear how long it might take to develop such standards.

Federal officials also would have to agree to spend the $5 million in federal hurricane recovery aid on the Chinese drywall program.

State lawmakers required the LRA to devise at least a $5 million aid program for people with drywall problems, and the recovery authority’s board gave unanimous approval today to using federal hurricane recovery block grant money for the program. Next is a public comment period, followed by requests for legislative and federal approvals of the program plans.

The toughest hurdle could be developing national standards for dealing with the drywall. LRA Executive Director Paul Rainwater said a common standard must be devised to determine if home damage is because of defective drywall, if that wallboard was manufactured in China and how to make repairs before the state gives out remediation money.

Hopefully these difficulties can be fixed soon enough and the funding may be dispersed to those who need it at a rate that lets progress develop. For more information on Chinese drywall, click here or check this site daily for new entries.