Agenda Item
Docket No. 11-230
Reconsideration of advisory opinion advising that employees of the Cameron Parish Housing Assistance Program and their immediate family members are prohibited from participating in the Cameron Parish Housing Assistance Program (HAP).
The Cameron Parish Housing Assistance Program ("HAP") is funded by federal disaster recovery funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Block Grant program. The funds were allocated by the State of Louisiana to Cameron Parish on a non - competitive basis and are awarded to homeowners within the parish on a non - competitive basis. Cameron Parish Police Jury received a $20 million Community Development Block Grant ("Grant") from the Office of Community Development and the Louisiana Recovery Authority. The Grant is being administered and supervised by the Cameron Parish Police Jury and its employees under the Cameron Parish Housing Assistance Program . The purpose is to assist eligible homeowners directly affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The HAP held public citizen participation meetings from May 5 -11, 2009. The HAP developed policies and procedures for the Incentive Program, and they were submitted to the State of Louisiana OCD -DRU for approval. Once approval was received HAP began processing eligible Cameron Parish residents. The eligibility requirements include the following:
(1) Eligible applicants must be an individual or family who owns or occupies (or was occupying) a single - family residential unit on September 1, 2008 for Hurricane Gustav or September 13, 2008 for Hurricane Ike. The home must be located in Cameron Parish.

(2) All Homeowners must have owned and occupied the damaged home as their primary residence.

(3) Homeowners living in homes that received federal assistance for recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and /or Rita must have had insurance on the damaged address at the time of the storm.

To determine the Incentive award the eligible applicant could receive is determined using a formula approved by the State of Louisiana OCD -DR. The formula consists of a determined amount per square foot of the structure, then subtracting all duplication of benefits (Insurance, FEMA awards), and if there is a remaining gap then the applicant is eligible to receive up to $60,000.00. The case manager(s) cannot approve an applicant based on anything other than the approved formula. Once the applicants file is audited and approved internally it is then forwarded to the State of Louisiana OCD -DRU Point of Contact for review. The Point of Contact request the federal funds, and the funds are then transferred over to the HAP for award to the applicant.In regards to Ms. Primeaux and her mother, the Parish suggests that the Parish Administrator, Ms. Tina Horn, would supervise, monitor and administer the applications of Ms. Primeaux and her mother. A case manager with HAP would assist the Parish Administrator and give direction to her in processing their applications; however, the case manager would not be present with Ms. Horn at any time during the process. The applications would remain with the Administrator and remain confidential. The applications would then be returned to the case manager at HAP for audit and preliminary approval based on the required regulations. If approved, the funds would be sent to HAP for disbursement by the Parish Administrator, who is the responsible authorized party for signing all disbursement checks for HAP.

The Board previously issued an advisory opinion in this matter stating that R.S. 42:1113A prohibited employees of the Cameron Parish Housing Assistance Program and their immediate family members from participating in the Cameron Parish Housing Assistance Program (HAP). Cameron Parish is requesting reconsideration of this matter in regards to Wendy Primeaux, the housing administrator, and her mother, in particular. However, additional information submitted by Ms. Primeaux seems to address the issue involving all employees of the housing program and their immediate family members.

Section 1113A prohibits a public servant, excluding any member of a governing authority of a parish with a population of ten thousand or less, a member of his immediate family or a legal entity in which either owns a controlling interest, from bidding on or entering into a contract, subcontract or transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the public servant's agency.
La. R.S. 42:1102 (23) defines "Transaction involving the governmental entity" to mean any proceeding, application, submission, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, case, or other such particular matter which the public servant or former public servant of the governmental entity in question knows or should know: (a) Is, or will be, the subject of action by the governmental entity. (b) Is one to which the governmental entity is or will be a party. (c) Is one in which the governmental entity has a direct interest.
La. R.S. 42:1102(13) defines "immediate family" as including a public servant's children, spouses of his children, his brothers and their spouses, his sisters and their spouses, his parents, his spouse, and the parents of his spouse

Adopt proposed advisory opinion.

Assigned Attorney: Tracy Barker
2011-230- Correspondence from Cecil Sanner (11-10-11)
Housing Program web page
2011-230 Cameron Parish HAP Policies
OrgChart2011Mar (3)
2011-230 Draft Opinion appearance