Block Grant funds available for Chinese drywall homeowners

Promising news emerged at the end of 2009 that provides some hope for those homeowners with Chinese drywall in 2010. The United States government, in an effort to provide local assistance for those who have unfortunately been struck with the toxic wallboard, allows for funding to be used to help with the removal and replacement of the drywall. This to say the least, is extremely helpful and an important development on this issue.

The Times-Picayune reports

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cleared the way Tuesday for the Louisiana Recovery Authority and local governments to use Community Development Block Grant funds to help people with toxic drywall in their homes.

“That is very big news,” said Christina Stephens, spokeswoman for the Recovery Authority.

This fall, the Louisiana Recovery Authority set aside $5 million to help Road Home applicants with problem drywall. Many homes that were built or repaired after Hurricane Katrina were constructed with wallboard that emits sulfuric gases that many people believe are making them sick and are corroding metal fixtures and appliances in homes. Insurers so far have been rejecting claims for damage, leaving homeowners without a source of money to fix the damage.

[The] announcement takes a major step toward making funds available to help drywall victims, but money cannot be disbursed until the federal government comes up with protocols on how to test for drywall and agrees on the proper way to remediate damage. Those decisions are expected to be made early [2010].

As the article says, these funding options will be emerging early this year and begin to provide financial relief for those who qualify. Funding may be an issue, as it often is with these matters, but progress is important. Reporting the toxic wallboard in your home may be a requirement of funding. To do so, here is some information:

Reporting the problem to the Recovery Authority will help the state document how big the problem is and make the case for federal assistance. Anyone who hasn’t yet registered with the Recovery Authority should complete a form online at or call the state’s contaminated drywall hotline at 1.866.684.1713.

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