David Montoya, the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, recently blamed Hurricane Katrina victims for spending $700 million on living expenses and shelter, instead of using the money to elevate their homes, reports Yahoo! News.
According to a report from Montoya's office, more than 24,000 people who got government money to elevate their homes on pylons from future disasters, instead spent the money on immediate needs such as mortgages, shelters to live in and living expenses.
"Clearly what we understood was that a lot of this money was used by homeowners to either pay their mortgages, pay for living expenses or other locations that they had to live in while their house was fixed," complained Montoya.
“The fact of the matter is that the money they received was for a specific purpose and the specific purpose was to elevate these homes to avoid future catastrophes. 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."
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Montoya also accused Hurricane Katrina victims of failing, without mentioning the enormous failures of the Bush administration 2005 to render aid: "I think the most troubling thing that we found was not only Louisiana, but the homeowners, failed."
Montoya also falsely claimed that homeowners were given this money "right after a disaster," when it has been reported numerous times that federal aid was slow to come to the Hurricane Katrina victims.
In 2007, then-senator Barak Obama attacked the slow response of the federal government, reported FoxNews.com.
"What's happening down in New Orleans? Where's your dollar? Where's your Stafford Act money?" Obama said. "Makes no sense. ... Tells me that somehow the people down in New Orleans they don't care about as much."
“Clearly, to give money out on the front end right after a disaster, when many of these people lost everything, with a promise to do something down the road, I think is counterproductive to what the program was designed to do," said Montoya.