The Po Boy has some interesting information about the Road Home. I agree with Bayou St John David at moldy city that the press is not paying close attention but the TP is also right about Road Home. The Gov. wants her name attached to it but wasn't proactive about setting it up.
The state could have issued RFP's for implementation and began setting up to operate the program even before there money was approved. Mississippi's had already been approved and we all knew that something was going to be approved, even if the details weren't final.
I think the ICF contract was a mistake and other more efficient means could have been found but perhaps the Feds were driving that part. State Treasurer John Kennedy (and presumptive candidate for Governor), suggested early on that the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency run the program. I don't know if they could have handled it or not, they couldn't have been any worse than ICF.
I don't, for example, see why local savings and loans, title companies, appraisers and lawyers couldn't have been used to process the grants, much like a mortgage. There would have been a need for someone to do the inspection and valuation, although local insurance adjusters have the necessary training for that as well.
If 110,000 applications are processed and ICF gets $756,000,000. That works out to $6,800 per application. I think you can process a mortgage for a lot less than that. If the average grant remains around $80,000 then their fee will be about 8.5% of the typical grant. A typical house closing costs 2-3%.
As I written before, In most of the country you can refinance an existing mortgage in a week. She recently purchased a condo as temporary quarters for us. The cost fell within the general range of the Road Home grants. It cost around $1,200 to close that loan. It took a little more than a month, primarily due to a title issue with the seller but also partly due to the current insurance problems. Neither issue is likely to affect the Road Home, which as far as I can tell is not doing a title search. I wonder how many grants are being made to people without clear title to the property? Or without current property insurance? They don't seem to be checking that either.
I don't see what's so different from a typical real estate or mortgage transaction.
The parts are pretty much the same;
- Verify the value of the property - This is what appraisers do.
- Verify the ownership of the property - This is what title companies do.
- Verify the loss and estimate the cost of repair - This is what adjusters do.
- Verify the payments already made.
- This is an additional step.
- This is an additional step plus there are the grants for elevation and mitigation