Nearly $1 billion in Katrina, Rita aid under scrutiny

More than nine years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita decimated parts of Louisiana, the state has identified nearly $1 billion in federal housing aid where recipients failed to comply with the rules, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said Monday.

Purpera said the problems were discovered by the state Division of Administration. They totaled $939 million and involved 15,095 homeowners.

That is on top of $75 million in questionable costs identified earlier.

In addition, the auditor said his own office’s review of 45 homeowners who got the aid showed that 10, whose awards totaled nearly another $1 million, failed to provide adequate evidence that they were complying with regulations.

That means they failed to offer proof that the home was being repaired or evidence of flood or other insurance, among other things.

The problems could put the state on the hook to repay money to the federal government, Purpera said. (more)