"The housing program will give rebuilding and buyout grants to Louisiana homeowners with major damage from the storms, capped at $150,000, depending on the extent of the damage. ICF will be responsible for working out many of the details, as well as hiring subcontractors and employees to do the home inspections, housing counseling and grant distribution.That's approximately 18% of the money that the state is scheduled to receive from the Federal govt. for the "Road Home" project. (If my severely-impaired math skills aren't deluding me.)
ICF won the contract to manage the program earlier this month after helping to develop the Road Home plans, garnering criticism from Republican state lawmakers, who said there were ethical conflicts in the selection. The company, however, was cleared by the state ethics board to be eligible for the contract after agreeing to end its existing contract with the state.
The 1,500 person company worked on response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Andrew. Its planned chief program executive for the Road Home program was the deputy federal coordinating officer for operations in the response to Sept. 11 attacks.
The housing contract with Louisiana will be lucrative: ICF estimated in its bid that its management of the program would cost $756 million. The other finalists' estimates varied widely; ACS State and Local Solutions Inc. estimated a cost of $425 million and BearingPoint Inc. pinned the cost at $912 million.
Cost was only one of several equally-weighted criteria used to measure the applicants, said Suzie Elkins, director of the state Office of Community Development in the Division of Administration, which awarded the contract and is working on the final contract negotiations.
An evaluation team of state and national officials, including several experts in housing, looked at prior experience in large scale programs, the subcontractors planned, plans to employ Louisiana residents, ability to quickly hire hundreds of employees to do the work and other criteria, Elkins said.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
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