09/30/2006 02:11 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Can't the New Orleanians in Houston, Atlanta, etc. Come Home?

Now, just now, some of the $12 billion in federal funds earmarked for compensating homeowners in New Orleans for their wrecked houses-- caused by the failure of the federal levee-floodwall system--is starting to flow. Now, thirteen months after the levees failed, the checks are just beginnning to be cut to help homeowners rebuild. But what about renters? Probably a majority of the NO evacuees were renters, and, so far, there's no program in place to jump-start the rental housing market, decimated by the disaster, and now marked by skyrocketing rents for the surviving properties.
Today's T-P carries a story about the latest delay in such aid, a wrangle between the state and the feds over an affordability requirement in the Community Development Block Grant program that is sending funds to the state. The wrangle is unseemly, the delay is unacceptable, but the reason is starkly clear:

Officials with the LRA said they do not have enough money to repair all damaged rental properties in the New Orleans area.