They were there to listen to Lara Robertson, deputy director of the state Office of Community Development.
When Roberston left the meeting room, they cornered her with questions - some good news and some not so good news.
The residents at the meeting wanted to know if the state will be offering a buyout program like it did for hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
A total of 42 parish homes were sold to the Louisiana Road Home Program three years ago.
Her answer was “yes” but she could not give an answer as to when. She told the residents that the federal government has allocated $6.5 billion but it did not determined how much money Louisiana will get from that. She predicted not until March or April will the program be set up for Louisiana. A majority of the $6.5 billion will go towards Texas, she added.
For hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the state offered the buyout program for residents who were flooded. The landowner could sell his home to the state for a maximum price of $150,000 even if the landowner’s home is worth more.
The state would deduct what the landowner received from their flood insurance claim. An example would be if the home is worth $100,000 before the hurricane and the homeowner received $50,000 from flood insurance, the state would give the homeowner $50,000 to equal to the $100,000 value of the house and then takeover ownership of the home and property.
The state did that to 42 homes in Vermilion Parish three years ago. The homes are still standing today and many looked like the day after the storm surge because they have not been cleaned or demolished.