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New contracts to be processed for homes in RISE West Virginia program

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announces Wednesday that new contracts will have to be processed before work can continue on several homes in the RISE West Virginia program. (Department of Commerce)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that new contracts will have to be processed before work can continue on several homes in the RISE West Virginia program.

Justice said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued new recommendations to the state because many of the contracts were not done properly.

HUD had given RISE West Virginia $150 million to help the victims of the June 2016 flood, but a legislative audit in June found that not a single home had been completed. Gov. Justice later said the audit was incorrect.

The West Virginia National Guard has taken over operations from the state Commerce Department and said while the contract issue is the latest setback, they will move forward quickly to get flood victims the help they have been waiting on for more than two years.

On Thursday, the investigation into the management of that flood relief money by RISE West Virginia will continue during a special meeting.

A subpoena has been issued for Mary Jo Thompson, a senior official with RISE to appear before a joint legislative committee on flooding. The committee also requested testimony from two other commerce employees involved with RISE.

Justice’s general counsel is also set to answer questions during the special meeting that will be live streamed at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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