At its June 9 meeting, the Restore Louisiana Task Force unanimously approved a resolution that makes recommendations to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration for distributing a $51 million federal allocation for relief from the 2016 floods.
The resolution calls for allocating an additional $37.5 million to the Homeowner Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program. It also allocates an additional $4.2 million for rental housing programs and $9.8 million for watershed planning in some of the communities most impacted by the flooding.
The appropriation is the federal government’s third since the August 2016 flood. The state’s recovery program calls for spending a total of $1.3 billion on homeowner assistance, $134.2 million on rental programs and $43 million for small business assistance, among other programs.
Earlier this month, homeowners in Phase 1 of the homeowner assistance program were invited to start the application process. Meanwhile, the first construction grants were finalized, and reimbursement checks were distributed to several families who have completed rebuilding their homes. Also, 1,800 Phase 2 homeowners were invited on June 9 to apply.
Gov. Edwards’ Office of Community Development presented numerous updates on flood-recovery programs:
- Nearly 25,000 families have completed and submitted the initial survey.
- More than 2,100 Phase I homeowners with environmental reviews who completed the survey were invited to complete the homeowner assistance program application.
- Over 8,000 environmental reviews have been completed for the 15,440 homeowners who match the criteria for Phases I-VI. The program will complete 2,000 environmental reviews per week.
Homeowner assistance centers are expected to open on June 12 at 151 Southpark Road in Lafayette and on June 19 at 130 Robinhood Drive, while two others are open in Baton Rouge and Monroe. The centers help flood-impacted families complete the initial survey and help invited families to complete the assistance program application while connecting them with a case manager.
Additional progress has been made on the Neighborhood Landlord Rental Program, which offers financial assistance to landlords and developers in replenishing the state’s supply of affordable rental housing. As of early June, 64 applicants had registered to complete the Neighborhood Landlord application.
Meanwhile, the state is expected to extend the deadline for the small business assistance program, which makes $43 million available for low-interest, partially forgivable loans between $20,000 and $50,000. The loans can be used for rent, mortgage, utilities, non-owner employee wages and inventory, and movable equipment. Construction-related expenses are not eligible. Eligibility criteria are found here.
Last modified: June 9, 2017