In 2011 the state asked FEMA for $370 million for the home-elevation grant program. FEMA granted this money, and even $20 million more, but then the state decided to send this money to the individual parishes to be used however the parishes deemed useful for their disaster-proofing programs.
This can be bad news for home owners waiting to elevate their home. It is now up to their parish if the money will be available for Home Elevation Grants or if it will go to other programs.
In Jefferson Parish, the full amount – $14.5 million – will still be used solely for home elevations, even though Jefferson Parish President Young’s proposal was to use part of the money for drainage projects. In Orleans parish however the plan is to use the money on sewer and water power plant and drainage systems.
U.S. Senator David Vitter is not too happy about the state’s decision and he has sent a letter to Paul Rainwater, Gov. Jindal’s commissioner of administration to question what is going to happen for the home owners waiting to elevate their house. Rainwater’s statement is that the state wants the parishes to decide how to best use the hazard mitigation money: “Our goal in pushing the funding to the parish level was to allow decisions to be made by the people who know their communities best”.
- David Vitter fuming about home elevation money being redirected to parish governments – Time Picayune – April 22, 2012
- Jefferson Parish Council marks $14.5 million in federal aid to raise houses – Time Picayune – May 9, 2012