The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has reached a $62 million settlement with over a thousand Louisiana homeowners claiming racial discrimination through the Road Home program.

Almost 1,500 plaintiffs, led by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and the National Fair Housing Alliance, sued HUD in November 2008.

The plaintiffs claimed they were racially discriminated against when seeking Road Home money to rebuild their homes after hurricane Katrina.

The lawsuit claimed that Road Home improperly issued grants based on pre-storm land value instead of actual cost to repair a home.

Because land values vary greatly but the cost of home repairs are roughly the same, families in traditionally black neighborhoods suffered because of their diminished land value.

Around 25,000 homeowners in southeastern Louisiana were paid up to $150,000 based on the land value system.

Some 1,200 Orleans Parish residents were part of the lawsuit, with just under 200 spread out in Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Cameron parishes.

Plaintiffs will also be allotted additional time to repair and return to their homes.

Federal case number 1:08-cv-01938-HHK

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