Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Shauna Johnson/WVMetroNews.com
After attempting to avoid testimony by resigning her position earlier this month, former RISE WV Director Mary Jo Thompson testified before members of the WV Legislature this Thursday.
Depending whether you ask Governor Justice or other administration officials, HUD funding has been used to build between zero and seven homes for victims of the 2016 WV Floods. Even on the high end of those estimates, seven homes doesn't go very far considering the Charleston Gazette Mail reported back in 2016 that over 5000 houses were damaged or destroyed in the floods.
It's worth noting that, as of 10:00AM on Friday July 13th 2018, the "Program Progress" section of Rise WV's website is essentially a blank page.
The issue here isn't money, HUD has allocated the money for flood recovery. RISE WV and the Justice Administration just can't seem to get their ducks in a row when it comes to spending the money and getting displaced West Virginians into new homes.
From WV Metro News
Mary Jo Thompson, who resigned her state government job last month, delivered more than two hours of sworn testimony before the legislature’s flood committee.
Thompson said she loses sleep over the problems and wishes she could have done more.
“I will never stop thinking I could have fought harder, sent a stronger message, talk to maybe the congressional delegation even more, ‘please talk to HUD, please do what we can do,'” Thompson said.
Hindsight is 20/20 and it seems the only answer we've gotten from anyone in the Justice Administration so far is "should have, could have, would have."