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Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan announced the approval of a $62 Million settlement related to the Road Home program. The settlement provides resolution to a legal challenge by local fair housing leaders who alleged that the grant formula discriminated against African-American recipients following Hurricane Katrina. Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (LA-02) released a statement prior to the announcement:
“Finally, we have a decision to make more people whole. The settlement represents progress on this issue, but more must be done to assist homeowners impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, for some storm survivors, this decision is too little too late.
“Everyone knew that the Road Home formula for calculating grant awards was deeply flawed and punished folks in neighborhoods where home values were lower. I have called for a remedy since the inception of Road Home. After all, if two families are both rebuilding a three bedroom home then their construction costs will be the same—regardless of the neighborhood. In that case, each family deserves the same assistance from their government. Unfortunately, the flawed formula was effectively discriminatory, locking many families out of equitable assistance.
“I sincerely hope that, with this settlement, more families will finally be restored. I stand ready to work with my constituents, Sec. Donovan, and other stakeholders to support homeowners still struggling to recover from Katrina.”