Do I Qualify?

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR THE RESTORE LOUISIANA HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.

Which homeowners will be helped by the homeowner assistance program?
The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a condition of the funding, HUD requires the program to help families who are most vulnerable with the least access to other resources for home repairs or rebuilding.

Why is an initial survey required for the homeowner assistance program?
The survey gives the program an initial indication on whether you might qualify for assistance. If the information you provide meets the program criteria, you’ll be invited to formally apply. Please note, therefore, that your survey responses do not determine final eligibility for the program or your award amount.

If I qualify for an award, when can work start on my house?
This depends on a number of factors, including the procedure for determining your award amount and your choice of program options. In addition, the program will distribute assistance in six phases:

All phases: Homeowners who received major or severe damage – 1 foot of water or more
Phase I*: Households considered low-to-moderate income, and those that included elderly residents or persons with disabilities at the time of the flood, outside of the floodplain
* The program has been expanded to include homeowners who had flood insurance and were otherwise eligible for Phase 1
Phase II-VI: Homeowners that did not have structural flood insurance at the time of the flood.
Phases II: Households considered low-to-moderate income, and those that included elderly residents or persons with disabilities at the time of the flood, inside the floodplain
Phases III and IV: Homes in the 10 most impacted or distressed parishes ‒ Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Livingston, Ouachita, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion and Washington
Phase V: Homes in the remaining 41 flood-impacted parishes
Phase VI: Reimbursement for homeowners who have completed the rebuilding process at the time they answer the survey or complete the application

NOTE: These phases also determine the order in which you apply. It is possible that if the survey indicates you qualify, you may be required to wait before the actual application begins.

How does my income affect any assistance I might receive?
Your income could play a role in the way your award amount is calculated, depending on which of three solutions you choose for repairs. Income is also a factor with construction options. More information is available in the section below titled “How is the award calculated?”

Meanwhile, your family’s income could affect the phase, or order, in which you receive funding. The program is designed to provide assistance to low-to-moderate-income families first. Low-to-moderate income is defined as a household with a total annual income that is 80 percent or less of the area median income of the parish or metropolitan area.

The program will help with this part of the application, but here are low-to-moderate incomes for a few Louisiana parishes:

An eligible family of five in Ascension Parish, for example, could qualify for the first phase if its household income is $56,100 or below. A family of five in Bienville Parish could qualify for the first phase if its household income is $40,500 or below.

If I am eligible, how do I receive my award?
Money awarded through the homeowner assistance program must go toward repairing flood-damaged homes. Therefore, the program is limited to paying for the costs of repairs and rebuilding. Depending on which repair solution you choose, the assistance needed to repair or rebuild a home will be managed directly by the program, or assistance will be provided to homeowners and their selected construction contractors.

What are the options for making repairs?
You can choose up to two of three solutions based on your progress in the rebuilding process and your capacity to complete the work. You can also choose to let the program manage your construction, or you can select your own contractor who follows state requirements for the assistance program.

For homeowners who have completed partial or full repairs to their homes, some reimbursement may be available for rebuilding work already complete

Program staff will provide guidance to homeowners on the requirements of each solution. Homeowners who complete repairs may be able to receive reimbursement for eligible costs incurred either before applying for the program or before September 8, 2017, whichever date is earlier.

NOTE: Home elevation may be an option for homeowners who meet program requirements, although each case will be evaluated individually. Elevation is not available for homes outside the floodplain with the possible exception where elevation is required by local ordinance.

Solution 1: Program Managed. The assistance program manages and completes the construction process on behalf of homeowners. The program’s contractors will repair or reconstruct damaged properties. Homeowners enter into grant agreements with the state. They do not select contractors and do not do business directly with the contractor.

Solution 2: Homeowner Managed. Homeowners manage their own repair or reconstruction work, while the program provides advisory services on how to navigate the construction process. Homeowners can use their own contractors and do business with them directly. Homeowners also enter into a grant agreement with the state in order to receive assistance through the federal Community Development Block Grant funding, and the state monitors the work.

Solution 3: Reimbursement. Homeowners who have completed partial or full repairs before applying to the assistance program may qualify for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred before the application process and by September 8, 2017, whichever is sooner.

How is the award calculated?
The award is determined by the scope of work based on economy-grade building materials as calculated using standard estimating software, minus any duplication of benefits through flood insurance, FEMA Individual Assistance or SBA loans, for example. The program will include details of program standards in its policies and procedures.

Because funding is limited, the state will use two award tiers for each of the three solutions listed above.

Prospective work (Solutions 1 and 2):

  • At the time of application, homeowners still have repairs or reconstruction work to complete
  • The program completes an inspection and determines the scope of work based on economy grade materials
  • The program checks for duplication of benefits
  • The program deducts potential duplication of benefits from the scope of work
  • The program determines an eligible prospective award amount
  • The program applies the dual-tiered award approach:
    • Homeowners with household incomes of up to 120 percent of area median income are eligible for 100 percent of the eligible award amount for prospective work
    • Homeowners with household incomes of more than 120 percent of area median income are eligible for 50 percent of the eligible award amount for prospective work

Reimbursement (Solution 3):

  • At the time of application, homeowners may have completed some or all repairs or reconstruction
  • The program completes an inspection and determines the scope of work based on economy grade materials
  • The program checks for duplication of benefits
  • The program deducts potential duplication of benefits from the scope of work
  • The program determines an eligible prospective award amount
  • The program applies the dual-tiered award approach:
    • Low-to-moderate-income households with an owner or co-owner who is elderly (62 years old or older), or have a person with disabilities in the home are eligible to receive 100 percent of their eligible reimbursement award amount
    • All other households are eligible for 25 percent of their eligible reimbursement award amount

Award calculation samples
The sample award calculations below demonstrate how an award is calculated. They are based on the criteria outlined above for Phase I funding of the program for a homeowner who is eligible for 100 percent of the eligible award amount. The prospective and reimbursement award amounts would also be subject to the dual-tiered award approaches described above:

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