The Restore Louisiana Task Force will meet at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12 in House Committee Room 1 at the State Capitol. The meeting will be live-streamed through the Task Force website at restore.la.gov and on the Restore Louisiana Facebook page.
Task Force members will be briefed by the Louisiana Office of Community Development on progress regarding the Restore Homeowner Assistance Program, the Restore Small Business Assistance Program and the Restore rental programs, including the newly created Piggyback Program.
Federal Legislation Pending In Congress
In addition, Task Force members will receive updates on pending legislation in Congress, including an $81 billion disaster recovery bill that eliminates several bureaucratic roadblocks faced by survivors of the disastrous floods in March and August 2016, as well as provides funding for infrastructure projects that could reduce the risk our communities face from future disasters.
The current version of the bill, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives but yet to be considered by the U.S. Senate, eliminates the current federal policy that designates disaster loans – primarily SBA loans – offered to homeowners post-disaster as a duplication of benefits in federal grant programs.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation, the Restore Louisiana Task Force and the Office of Community Development have tirelessly advocated for changes to this policy since the 2016 floods devastated large parts of the state. The change would affect roughly 10,000 flood-impacted Louisianans who were approved for SBA loans after the floods, even if they didn’t accept the loans.
Also included in the bill are billions of dollars in disaster mitigation money earmarked for flood-prevention and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects. If passed, the state could receive up to $600 million for infrastructure and flood-mitigation projects.
Restore Louisiana Homeowner Awards Rising Quickly
Louisiana’s Office of Community Development has received more than 46,600 survey of damage submissions from flood-impacted homeowners and has invited more than 37,800 of the respondents to apply to the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program.
The survey of damage is used to determine if homeowners will be invited to formally apply for an award. The program uses this two-part process to prevent homeowners from being forced to stop repairs on their home in order to satisfy federal environmental regulations.
The initial survey is still available to flood-affected homeowners who have not yet responded. It’s available online at restore.la.gov or by phone from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays at (866) 735‐2001.
To date, the homeowner assistance program has awarded $134 million to 4,600 homeowners.
Restore Louisiana Homeowner Outreach Events Happening In January
In January, Restore Louisiana begins a series of outreach events in flood-impacted communities across the state to help homeowners complete their applications. At each outreach event:
- Program representatives will be available to answer questions, provide information and work directly with homeowners on a first-come, first-served basis; and
- Construction technical advisors will be present to explain program options for repairs and reconstruction.
Restore Louisiana Housing Assistance Centers Helping With Process
In addition, housing assistance centers in Lafayette, Hammond, Monroe and Baton Rouge are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Program representatives are available at these centers to help homeowners complete surveys and applications, connect with a case manager and provide an overview of options for repairs, reconstruction or reimbursement.
For more information: The fastest way to find out about the latest developments regarding flood recovery is to sign up for email updates through the Restore website.
About the Restore Louisiana Task Force
The Restore Louisiana Task Force comprises 21 individuals from throughout the state who were appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to oversee the rebuilding process after historic flooding in March and August 2016 impacted 51 disaster-declared parishes. The Task Force’s mission is divided into six categories: community planning, economic, health and social services, housing, infrastructure and natural and cultural resources. All task force documents are available at http://restore.la.gov/resources/. For more information, visit restore.la.gov.
Last modified: January 4, 2018