Road Home meets target of 90,000 closings

Reported by Associated Press

The Road Home aid program has met a target of 90,000 closings with homeowners whose properties were damaged in the 2005 hurricane season, according to an official with the program.

ICF International Inc., a company hired by Gov. Kathleen Blanco's administration to run the Road Home, was required to complete 90,000 closings by the end of 2007 or face a $150,000 fine.

That requirement was part of a package of tougher standards the state imposed last August to speed up the troubled program and improve its performance or be penalized.

Gentry Brann, a Road Home spokeswoman, says that target has been met.

The program gives grants to homeowners with severe damage from the hurricanes.  The federally financed program started with insufficient funding and complaints that it was cumbersome. The pace has picked up, and Congress has agreed to fully fund the multibillion-dollar program.