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The Road Home?

Posted By Gabrielle, Mar 20, 2007

Trailer in front of houseOur first day in the office began with a quick orientation and intro LA succession law. We are working with New Orleans Legal Assistance to help people get official title to their property so they can apply to the Road Home Program and get money to repair their homes.

The Road Home Program is designed to help families that are victims of Katrina and Rita return to their homes as quickly as possible. Homeowners may be able to receive as much as $150,000 in compensation for their losses.

One of the biggest hurdles for homeowners is to prove they own the property they are living on. Homes are often passed down through generations without changing the name on the title of the property. This is where we come in.

After our brief orientation we jumped right in and began interviewing possible clients. We delved into their family history and learned about the property in question. In the simple cases, the outcome is a document we prepare for them that they can use to show they are the homeowners and receive the Road Home funds. The more complicated cases will take longer and they will need to spend more time with an attorney.

Throughout the day of interviewing we heard some incredible stories. Stories of people having driven to Texan in a van thinking they would be gone for 3 days only to return to a devastated home. They now live in trailers next to their gutted homes, everything they held dear to them lost.

Having seen the areas hit hardest by the flood on Sunday gave us an invaluable perspective. When the clients talked about their gutted homes, I had a very real visualization of what they are describing. I picture the span of land dotted with houses barely standing, their owners living in small trailers in front. When they describe their post-Katrina lives, I cannot claim to understand, but I am less naïve than we were on Saturday.