Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I sent this email to the Road Home higher-ups, as well as my state senator and representative. I tried to find Aunt Kathy's email, but couldn't get ahold of it.

To whom it might concern:

My name is Adolph Voigt, and my applicant ID is listed above in the subject line. I have had an ongoing nightmare trying to get my Road Home options letter than has led me to this point. This is my last communication to the Road Home Program (RHP) until (or, more to the point, if) I get some form of response. While my story has been detailed to some degree in the Times Picayune, (e.g., I figure it would be worthwhile to give you a relatively brief run down.

I applied for the program in August 2006. My intake interview was around Oct. 12, and my first inspection was 10 business days later. My options letter went to "generated" in the last few days of November, presumably to coincide with the Governor's decree that ICF put out 10,000 letters by the end of the month. A week or so later, I was informed by someone in the Benefits department that the letter was going out "that day." I was also told what my award would be. I am happy with my award, and I only wish to go to closing. Shortly after the call to benefits, I was contacted by a "quality control" inspector who met me at my house two days later to reinspect my house. This all happened by mid-December.

In early January 2007, I emailed the Road Home inquiry email address seeking information. The response I got was solely concerned with finding out who told me my award, not with actually helping me.

After many unsuccessful phone attempts to find out what happened to my letter, I was unwittingly transferred to the resolutions team who theretofore I had been told could only be reached by mail. I was informed by "George" at the end of January that he would send a request to a case manager to resolve the issue. Later in February, that same process was repeated by another resolutions team member. At the end of February I spoke with a floor supervisor named Patricia. She told me that the letter would be mailed out in the next mass mailing, and that if I hadn't received it by 3/15 to call back. I was calling resolutions with such regularity, many
operators now remember me when I call.

The TP ran the Road Home article at the beginning of March. Shortly thereafter two people representing themselves as employees of ICF and First American Mortgage sought to contact me. One left a note on our door with a email address
and another called my grandfather, who shares my name. One would imagine that people with the RHP would be able to retrieve my phone number, so I suspect these people were impostors. However, in the event they weren't, I'll happily concede that perhaps the RHP made a half-hearted attempt to reach me.

In any event, call back I did on 3/17 where I was informed by a resolutions team member that Patricia could have told me no such thing as resolutions did not know when mailings were going out. After several unreturned messages to Patricia, I eventually spoke with her again. At that time she told me that my award had just been recalculated on 3/16, that a letter had been printed on 3/17, and that it would be going out in the next mass mailing. If I did not receive it by 4/2, give her a call back.
Call back I did on 4/9/07 where I was again informed by another floor supervisor that Patricia "couldn't have told me that" because she didn't have access to that information. Again I was made to feel like I was making all of this up. I was told to "stop opening case manager requests" (to my knowledge I have tried, at the suggestion of the operators, to open three), and was told that Patricia would be calling me back. My phone has not yet rung with her call.

Despite the worst the insurance company, thieving contractors, and the city of New Orleans could throw at me, I kept my chin up. I did not want to become a "bitter old crank" at 29. Sadly, it is the Road Home that has sent me off the deep end.

Most galling is not the "Remember, Louisiana wants you to come home," not the unveiled condescension from the resolutions team when I merely repeat what "Patricia" had told me because it is *I* who must be lying, not the fact that I am paying rent and a mortgage because I cannot live in my house, not that I have been repeatedly lied to, not that I know people who started long after I and are now scheduled for closing, and not even the repeated promises of closings and award letters I see nightly on the news. What is worst is that through this entire process I have not been given the respect owed a human being. I am merely another case file to be passed on to someone else. A co-worker found some amount of progress by emailing you. I am not so optimistic. So disgusted by this process am I, I am
doing this to ensure completeness and perhaps help others caught in a RHP no-man's-land. I just want my options letter so I can wait a few more months before I can go to closing.


Adolph "06HHxxxxxx" Voigt
4521 S. Johnson St.
New Orleans, LA 70125

The email was sent at about 4:04 pm. I received a call from "Nia" from "Constituent Services" at 4:42p.m. Turns out we've been held up since OCTOBER because of a missing form. Turns out, if you interviewed before October 25 (we did so on Oct. 12), you also had to fill out a form to determine if you were eligible for the "Affordable Loan Program." Of course, we are overqualified several times over (despite being poorly paid state employees). Apparently nobody could take the less than 30 minutes it clearly did to figure that out and let us know this at any point since then. They knew when we interviewed. They knew we had a problem. Our award was held up for five months because we had to fill out a form we didn't know about. I had to call repeatedly for months, only to then try to email everyone and their grandmother before any amount of attention was paid to correct a minor technical detail.


And remember, Louisiana wants you to come home!