Audit outlines trouble with $75M hurricane program

Photo credit: AP
Photo credit: AP

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A new audit says homes in Louisiana's "Katrina cottages" program paid significantly more per house than other similar initiatives.

And in some instances, the audit says the homes were poorly constructed and families were forced to temporarily move out. The review of the problem-plagued $75 million program was released Monday by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office.

The Katrina cottages program was created after hurricanes Katrina and Rita to build housing for displaced families while studying ideas for alternative housing in hurricane-prone areas. But Louisiana's program - which built 461 homes at 12 sites - became a poster child for the slow pace of recovery.

The audit says the average cost per site was at least $53 per square foot more than housing of similar size built by other nonprofit organizations.

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