In September 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded East Baton Rouge Parish an $11 million grant to assist with flood recovery. Thursday night, Mayor Sharon West Broome's office proposed a new plan on how to spend it. Wallis Watkins reports.
The money was first granted under former Mayor Kip Holden, who developed a spending plan. But when Mayor Broome took office in January, that plan was changed. Rowdy Gaudet with the Mayor's office says so far, that hasn't meant a delay in receiving the money.
Because the state is focusing on homeowners, almost half of the parish's money will be dedicated to small landlords and renters. The rest will go to homelessness prevention and a small number of homeowners who have a mortgage subsidized through the Parish.
Asked who in the room was a homeowner impacted by the August flood, nearly fifty hands went up in the air -- one for just about every person who had filed into Baton Rouge's Eden Park Library.
Mary Jackson's rental property was damaged in the flood. She came looking for assistance. "And I was wondering what the state would give me to help me with my house."
Most of the questions Thursday night were about the state's program, which the city could only attempt to answer.
The frustration of residents was evident. "I cannot go back and work on another job twenty or thirty years to get back in my house. We need help to put us back in our house," demanded Janice O'Bear.