Katrina victims whose homes were reduced to mold covered framing, desperate for money to rebuild, living in government provided poisonous trailers finally won a federal grant and are now being told they have to pay it back.
The Associated Press has the story of another chapter in the Bush Administration's bungling incompetence of Hurricane Katrina:
A private contractor under investigation for the compensation it received to run the Road Home grant program for Katrina victims says that in the rush to deliver aid to homeowners in need some people got too much. Now it wants to hire a separate company to collect millions in grant overpayments.
The contractor, ICF International of Fairfax, Va., revealed the extent of the overpayments when it issued a March 11 request for bids from companies willing to handle "approximately 1,000 to 5,000 cases that will necessitate collection effort."
The bid invitation said: "The average amount to be collected is estimated to be approximately $35,000, but in some cases may be as high as $100,000 to $150,000."
The biggest grant amount allowed by the Road Home program is $150,000, so ICF believes it paid some recipients the maximum when they should not have received a penny. If ICF's highest estimate of 5,000 collection cases — overpaid by an average of $35,000 — proves to be true, that means applicants will have to pay back a total of $175 million.
ICF International who has a Wikileaks page about the mismanagement of millions of dollars in federal money could profit almost a billion dollars from this program. Another corrupt corporation making astronomical profits is going to go after Katrina victims to force them to repay thousands of dollars because of their incompetence?!
Joe Lieberman has given the Bush Administration a pass on their ineptitude and by the time a Democrat is sworn in next January it will be too late for thousands of New Orleans homeowners.
Find Law has more on how this company may have deliberately used red tape, confusion and delays to get people to settle:
"They have been pressured into signing closing documents," said Melanie Ehrlich, the other chair of CHAT, who has documented nearly 1,000 such disputes. "We know that this includes applicants who had obvious mistakes in the calculation of the grant."
This is just more Shock Doctrine: Disaster Capitalism from the Bush Administration and I don't know if there is anything we can do about it...