Louisiana playing the insiders game taking disaster funds from the taxpayers and giving it to it's contractors
Nationally we are seeing just how simple it is to take back funds allocated to help during a disaster. From a federal level all the way down to state levels, disaster allocations are always looked at as a pot of gold for local government as long as they..

By Murray Wennerlund published 11-30-2020 updated 1-15-2022

The storm season by calendar date may have ended but your storm season recovery has just started.

Like every major and severe disaster in Louisiana you have to know what the states GOHSEP, OHSEP and the Gov's Disaster Team have focused on. Most of you know it's all about recovery of the state then local government before they turn to you the taxpayers. Keep in mind nearly all recovery funds are from federal agencies not local faith based or not for profits. They will be reimbursed and paid for their efforts. (less volunteers) This is why if you are offered anything take it while you can because the Not for Profits are only authorized to provide support for 24 months.

Your hurricane season combined with the pandemic brings more issues that have never really been addressed in the past very well. When HUD authorized the use of any and all CDBG funds for the Pandemic the states office of community development fast tracked spending of $1.2 billion so not to have any remaining dollars that could be reallocated. At the same time the states OCD-DRU fast tracked the defunding of the 2016 allocations by transferring funds for homeowners to programs that benefit the state and state approved contractors. This was the 2016 to 2019 method of operation. From 49,000 approved flood victims to less than 16,000 finally assisted.

You all this year will have the biggest fight in disaster recovery history for funding. The obstacles you face are beyond compare. The state employees tasked for disaster recovery are working more on mitigation projects that do not involve the general public and have the only disaster funding taskforce in place co-chaired by the director of the agency responsible for the distribution of the federal funds. Kind of like giving the Fox the key to the hen house and saying bon appetit.

I have worked with many of you with your recovery needs and I need to share with those impacted this year with what to expect and what to do now. You can trust those in charge of the programs but you must always question their actions when you find it's government, property, mitigation first before people, health and homes.

Note: Louisiana has a disaster sub-committee made up of local representatives which could act on these issues but under it's current leadership feels it's not within their scope or their best interest to protect the taxpayers funded programs from state government mismanagement. With that said you can only file with specific agencies under their Office of Inspector General (OIG) and hope your complaint reaches your area people responsible for some degree of oversight in this unmeasured claim to federal funds.