Report: $700 Million Missing In $1 Billion Katrina Fund

money_1We have yet another federal program with almost $1 billion missing with little more than a shrug from Congress and the Administration. What is astonishing is that this program only had about $1 billion to start with and over $700 million is missing from a fund that was supposed to be used by homeowners to elevate their homes. Many questioned such programs in funding private homes in high flood areas as well as the lack of controls in handing out hundreds of millions of dollars. Now the government simply says many homeowners simply took the money and ran. HUD Inspector General David Montoya simply says “your guess is as good as mine.” Most of us had hoped that our government would hand out $1 billion on more than a hope and a prayer. We would also had hoped that stealing tens of thousands of dollars would have some consequence for these homeowners.

The report found that more than 24,000 homeowners who received grants of up to $30,000 to elevate their homes either misspent or pocketed the money. However, most took the money and just banked it. What is remarkable is the grading curve used by the government in such failures. Montoya noted that “considering there was just under $1 billion earmarked for this particular program and there’s $700 million that wasn’t used for that, I’d give it a very low D.” A grade of a D? That is less than a thirty percent success rate. In most places outside of the U.S. government, that would be an F.

Of course, this is the same government that was responsible for the recent disclosure of tens of billions of dollars of waste without a single person being disciplined.

In the Katrina waste, there is no talk of demanding the money back or prosecuting the homeowners. Instead Montoya is suggesting a revolutionary reform: pay for work actually done in the future instead of handing out bags of cash. No wonder 30 percent is a passing grade on a federal program.

Source: Yahoo

23 thoughts on “Report: $700 Million Missing In $1 Billion Katrina Fund”

  1. I am a guide dog for a half blind guy. He got a grant and built a second story on the home. Then it flooded again a few months ago. I said: Elevate the home from the ground up not from the top down! He listened. He applied for a grant to move the home to higher ground. Coming to a theatre new you.

  2. nick spinelli, exactly correct. The repos and the demos are very fond of using tax dollars to promote their self interest. One pays one group, the other pays a different group, both are criminal in how they treat tax dollars. So please, please, please, do not for for an R or a D this next time around. They are one and the same animal. They want your money and they don’t want you to have freedom.

  3. Anecdotal and possibly false..I know, I know. You can really learn about this stuff sitting @ your computer.

  4. I’m getting the sense people hear REALLY hate Bush and Cheney. Having lived and worked in a disaster zone when it was a presidential election year and Fed money flowed like water, fraud is on EVERY level; individuals, local, state, fed pols, individuals, small companies, large corporations. Everyone feeds off the public trough in a virtual feeding frenzy. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that basic fact is either lying or talking out of their ass..possibly both.

  5. I doubt that HOMEOWNERS stole this cash. Look at the contractors who were hired by the BUSH Administration. I am sure you will find a few multi million dollar footballs there.

  6. I worked in a hurricane disaster area[Wilkes-Barre 1972] and lived there in the aftermath. The fraud was a real awakening for a young man and key in making me a libertarian. This is an enecdote which I’ve shared previously and hopefully not going to be subject to classless innuendo.

  7. WAKE UP

    READ the ACTUAL ABC News story…and DO THE MATH –

    24,000 homeowners received up to $30,000 dollars [some probably got much less]

    24,000 homeowners X (multiply) $30,000 = $7.2 million dollars NOT SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS –

    That is a MAJOR Accounting/Math Discrepancy/Error of 692. 8 Million Dollars – —

    I am an 8th grade graduate and saw the OBVIOUS MISTAKE by the fifth paragraph

    Do I believe that their is MAJOR FRAUD within the US Government ? – YES OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS in CONGRESS who have SOLD OUR FUTURES to the corpoRATe lobbyists …. but I’de look at the REAL THEFT by “BANKSTERS/CORPORATERRORISTS” (Financial Gangsters) Who Threatened To Crash OUR REAL ECONOMY – DOWNSIZING OUR JOBS to CHINA and STEALING the LIVE SAVINGS of HARD WORKING AMERICANS by CRASHING the VALUE of OUR HOMES and MANIPULATING INTEREST RATES.

    A Direct Descendant of 145 Ancestors who fought in the AMERICAN Revolution for Freedom against the Tyranny of TAXATION without REPRESENTATION

  8. Goldman Sacks has their armored car with a catch basket just out of view. It’s like a direct deposit from the Fed. Michael Moore tried to get his armored car in for recoupment of some of the quantitatively eased dollars but was run off by some private security force, backed up by NYPD.

  9. Great clip Darren! Except there should be someone sitting outside the window putting the money in their pockets!

  10. Your column is dead on.

    The hidden cost of this waste is the contempt and anger that ordinary taxpayers (those who do not participate in this kind of fraud) develop for both government and for government workers.

    Does HUD Inspector General David Montoya not realize the anger and contempt that his comments generate? Perhaps better asked: “Does he care?”

    This column illustrates how people in Washington think – there is a huge difference in morality/mindset between our “leaders” in Washington and the poor dumb schmucks in the rest of the country who pay the taxes that fund these frauds.

    Change will come, the questions are: “When” and “Whether the change will come internally or be forced”.

  11. “Instead Montoya is suggesting a revolutionary reform: pay for work actually done in the future instead of handing out bags of cash.”

    Because that would require actually solving a problem instead of just throwing money at it and hoping it goes away. You know. Actual work by people who knew what they were doing. The government’s response to Katrina was almost universally incompetent and a failure from the local all the way to the Federal. The only (and I do mean only) government agency that took any responsibility and did their job with competence was the U.S. Coast Guard or I wouldn’t have qualified “universally” with an “almost”. The rest of the lot, from Nagin and Blanco all the way to Brownie and Bush deserve the finger for their pitiful performance and general malfeasance. I guess we can add Obama to that list now as well.

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