The Louisiana Legislature’s Select Committee on Hurricane Recovery will hold a public hearing in Erath at the Erath Community Center, 100 City Park Drive, today to hear problems from politicians and residents dealing with the hurricane recovery.
Elected officials will meet with the committee at 4 p.m. and residents will meet with the committee at 5 p.m. The meeting is scheduled to end by 8 p.m.
Champagne, who sits on the committee, said, “We want to know what the unmet needs are. We’re gathering information and then will take them to the programs and see if the complaints can be fixed.”
Champagne gave the example how the program, Home Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is taking too long to pay contractors who are lifting homes in the parish. She is hoping to hear from residents who applied for funds from the program and are waiting for funds to pay the contractor.
During this meeting, the Office of Community Development will provide program updates on the following programs: Non-Profit Rebuilding Pilot program, Road Home Homeowners program, Small Rental Property program, Hazard Mitigation Grant program, Infrastructure program, and the Piggyback program.
The Select Committee was created by the Senate President and House Speaker to assist the Legislature in understanding and tracking the progress and efficiency of the expenditures of federal disaster funds received for hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav.
This is the first time the committee met with the public in South Louisiana. They have meetings in St. Bernard and Orleans parishes. Champagne said the biggest beef with the public has been the slow payment of the HMGP program.
The committee will make recommendations to the House and Senate concerning hurricane policies in an attempt to speed recovery in all affected areas of the state.