A couple weeks ago the Louisiana Recovery Authority set aside $5 million dollars for assistance to residents who are suffering through Chinese drywall in their homes. This is an important step in the right direction towards the removal and replacement of the toxic wallboard. The Times-Picayune reports
LRA Executive Director Paul Rainwater said the authority’s staff will now design a program and make it available for public comment. The details of the application process, eligibility requirements and how the program would work are all still being developed, he said.
“You’re not even in the batter’s box, you’re still in the dugout talking about this thing,” Rainwater said in describing the status of the program’s implementation.
The plan would have to come back to the LRA and a legislative budget committee for approval.
The plan also would have to be accepted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees block grant spending. HUD may require that recipients certify that they used tainted drywall, and the protocols for determining that have not been worked out, Rainwater said.
While these terms and conditions have yet to be determined, it will be important that they are not so exclusive that deserving people cannot receive the funds needed to move their homes beyond this struggle. More information will be provided on this blog as it becomes available.