The Restore Louisiana Task Force met on April 21 at the state Capitol, urging flood-impacted homeowners to complete a state survey of damage related to the March and August 2016 floods.
The survey is the initial step for all homeowners seeking recovery assistance. Since becoming available on April 10, more than 15,000 residents have completed it. However, with an estimated 90,000 homeowners experiencing losses, task force members encouraged remaining homeowners to take the survey.
The survey is available online at restore.la.gov. Those without internet access or those who experience problems online can take the survey over the telephone at (866) 735-2001. The call center is open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Last week, the state began drawing down money from the federal government to begin the homeowner assistance program, starting with initial environmental review work required by the federal government. Individual environmental reviews on Phase 1 applicants’ homes will begin this month.
Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Office of Community Development provided updates on several fronts to restore the state’s inventory of available, affordable rental housing units, including:
- The Multifamily Restoration Gap Program, which will make $38 million in loans available for development of multifamily housing with units priced at affordable rental rates
- The Louisiana Permanent Supportive Housing program, which subsidizes rental housing for persons with disabilities
- The Restore Louisiana Neighborhood Landlord Rental Program, which will provide $36 million in loans for repairs to flood damaged rental properties, as well as in-fill of vacant property, in residential areas
- The Rapid Rehousing Program that helps flood survivors, including renters, obtain housing quickly.
In addition, the Office of Community Development, through local lenders, will provide the Restore Louisiana Small Business Program that will offer $51 million in loans for qualified flood-impacted businesses.
Meanwhile, the task force unanimously approved a resolution calling on the federal government to reduce specific legal and regulatory hurdles that slow recovery efforts after disaster strikes. The resolution urges numerous changes regarding federal and state cost sharing, debris removal, environmental reviews, duplication of benefits, emergency sheltering and the FEMA reimbursement process, among several others.
Based on the magnitude of the 2016 floods and the number of disasters that states have faced since 2000, the resolution urges Congress, President Trump’s administration and all state and local governments to examine and implement ways of improving community readiness, recovery and rebuilding efforts when disaster strikes.
All residents are encouraged to sign up for email updates through restore.la.gov. This is the quickest way to find out information as it becomes available.
Last modified: April 21, 2017