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Posted: Monday, 20 March 2017 12:12PM

What's the hold up on flood relief?



Louisiana's Office of Community Development is seeking new offers from companies that want to oversee the homeowner assistance program for flood victims. The Governor's Deputy Chief of Staff, Julie Baxter Payer, says there won't be any delay in getting assistance to those who need it. She says they're reopening the bidding process because they weren't pleased with the initial offers.

Payer says they will expedite this second round of bidding, and she's confident a contractor will be in place in a month. As of right now, the federal government has yet to give the state access to the federal dollars made available for homeowners, so the only delay is in Washington.

''We do not have one federal dollar of those federal recovery dollars that were approved by Congress we have not received that money and the line of credit has not been opened yet,'' said Payer.

Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says it is disappointing the state is reopening the bidding process to find a new administer for the program. He says it's just another delay and it's frustrating because Congress approved $1.6 billion last year.

''We still have flood victims whose homes were gutted that are living in tents living in camping trailers, living with relatives and the money is not out the door,'' Graves said.

A program manager is needed to dole out money to homeowners and arrange state contractors to repair homes. Even though Louisiana has a Democratic governor, the Republic Congressman says this isn't about politics, it's about helping those that were affected by the flood.

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