Is the 'road home' a dead end?
Every month Mona Jones writes a check for the mortgage on her New Orleans East townhouse, even though it's gutted down to the studs. She also pays for her new kitchen appliances ruined by the flood waters and, oh yeah, she pays for the insurance to cover both. And every month she writes another check to rent the apartment where she and her husband now live in Jefferson Parish. She'd like to come home to New Orleans and rebuild, but right now she just can't afford to.
Jones' dilemma is why New Orleans nearly two years after Katrina struggles to come back.
Louisiana's Road Home program, federally funded by $7.5 billion, was started to aid people like Mona Jones. More than 138,000 have registered. So far fewer than 21,000 have received any money. New Orleans officials say at that rate it will be years before many residents can afford to return.
Today the Road Home program is under fire on Capitol Hill. No doubt a lot of anger will be vented against ICF International, the company Louisiana hired and is paying $750 million to oversee and distribute the aid. But there is an even bigger crisis looming. As I will report tonight on NBC Nightly News, the road home might be headed for a dead end.
Update: If you missed Martin's report, you can watch it here.
Read more from Martin Savidge
Early Nightly is up
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