FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2009
Contact: Christina Stephens, email@example.com
State Signs Agreement with New Contractor to Serve Homeowners in Road Home Program
Two-year deal includes 19 performance measures, potential fines to ensure contractor accountability
BATON ROUGE, La. - The state of Louisiana has signed a two-year contract, complete with 19 performance measures, with Lutcher-based Hammerman and Gainer, Inc., to administer the homeowner assistance portion of the Road Home program, including performing a final review of all files.
To ensure that homeowners remaining in the program have continuous service, the state must transition Road Home management from contractor ICF International, whose contract ends in June 2009. So far, the program has awarded 124,119 grants totaling more than $7.9 billion.
"Our top priority in transitioning this program to new management has been to ensure that homeowners remaining in the Road Home receive continuous service under the program," said Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "To ensure that our new contractor meets the goals of the program, we have included a series of performance measures with clear deadlines and penalties when these reasonable terms are not met."
The state selected HGI to be the Homeowner Assistance contractor through a public bidding process. HGI's contract with the state is capped at $29,959,007 and includes 19 performance-based benchmarks with clear penalties for nonperformance. HGI has been on the ground working under an agreement with the state to transition the management of the program since March. HGI assumed full responsibilities of the program from ICF International, as agreed upon, on April 20.
Performance measures include:
- The contractor must have approved and accepted plans for outreach activities, quality assurance and subcontractor monitoring by certain deadlines outlined in the contract. HGI faces fines of $1,000 per week for each plan that is not accepted by the agreed-upon deadlines;
- Applicants requesting their Road Home files must be served within 30 days of their original request. HGI faces a $500 per day fine for each applicant that has not received his or her file within 30 days of requesting it;
- All additional disbursements resulting from a successful homeowner appeal must be processed within 30 days of the decision. HGI faces a $500 per day fine for each disbursement not processed within this timeframe;
- Files transferred for closing must be error-free. HGI faces a $500 penalty per file transferred to closing that contains an error;
- Final file review on files completed by HGI must result in an error rate of less than 5 percent. HGI faces a $10,000 fine for each point above 5 percent.
Adjustments or additions to the performance goals will be made as needed, including when program policies or contract terms are changed.
To meet the continuing functions of the Road Home program as it transitions managers, the state also has hired private firms to run the rental portions of the program and to handle IT services.
Homeowners with questions will still contact the program by calling its hotline at 1.888.ROAD.2.LA (1.888.762.3252) or, for TTY callers, 7.1.1 relay or 1.800.846.5277, or by e-mail at inquiry@road2LA.org.
Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.