The first homeowners from The Road Home pilot program have received financial assistance for their losses from Hurricane Katrina, according to the state of Louisiana.It is estimated that 42 applicants will receive compensation of almost $1.5 million in the next few weeks. "We opened 10 Housing Assistance Centers statewide this week and are closing on the first disbursement accounts in record time," said Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. The state has tapped banks and other financial institutions to assist their customers by establishing accounts that will hold and disburse the grant funds. Lenders will implement disbursement guidelines that have been reviewed by the state for their effectiveness in maximizing homeowner awards and defending against fraud and misuse of funds. Participating lenders will shoulder the cost of helping the state disburse the funds and have agreed to waive most fees associated with implementation. Homeowners can start their applications to The Road Home by visiting http://www.road2la.org.

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