FAQs

Program Overview

  • What is Restore Louisiana?

    Restore Louisiana is dedicated to helping homeowners recover from federally declared disasters. The program is administered by the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through federal appropriations of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. Restore Louisiana was initially established to assist homeowners impacted by the March and August 2016 Floods and has now expanded to include homeowners impacted by federally declared disasters in 2020 and 2021.

  • Who can receive assistance from Restore Louisiana?

    Assistance may soon be available for eligible homeowners who sustained major/severe damage as determined by FEMA from Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020.

    Additionally, homeowners who sustained major/severe damage as the direct result of one or more of the following federally declared disasters in 2020 and 2021 are encouraged to complete a survey, but program assistance is not currently available because HUD has not yet issued a federal register notice for these events:

    Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding (May 2021)

    Hurricane Ida (2021)

  • My home was damaged by a disaster in 2020–2021. Am I eligible for assistance?

    If you owned your home and occupied it as a primary residence at the time of the disaster, have maintained ownership of the home since the disaster, and the home sustained major/severe damage, as determined by FEMA as the result of Hurricane Laura and/or Hurricane Delta, we strongly encourage you to complete the initial program survey. The survey is the first step in applying for program assistance. After you complete the initial survey, the program will provide periodic text and email updates regarding program launch, application availability, and any next steps required.

    If your home was damaged by the May 2021 Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding; and/or Hurricane Ida, you are encouraged to complete a survey, but HUD has not yet issued a federal register notice for these events and program assistance is not currently available for these disaster events.

  • I applied for FEMA assistance. Am I already signed up for Restore Louisiana?

    No. To begin the process of applying for assistance from Restore Louisiana, you must complete the initial program survey. Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), a volunteer agency, insurance, etc. is separate from Restore Louisiana.

  • I submitted a Restore Louisiana application for the 2016 Floods. Should I complete the survey?

    The assistance period for the 2016 Floods has closed, and the program is no longer accepting applications for that disaster. However, if you received a major/severe damage determination from FEMA for a 2020/2021 declared disaster, you are strongly encouraged to submit a program survey at this time. You must submit a survey to begin the process of applying for assistance for a 2020 and/or 2021 disaster even if you previously submitted a separate survey for the 2016 Floods.

  • I was ineligible for assistance for the 2016 Floods, but my home was impacted by Hurricane Laura and/or Hurricane Delta. Will I be eligible for assistance now?

    If you owned your home and occupied it as a primary residence at the time of the disaster, have maintained ownership of the home since the disaster, and it sustained major/severe damage as the result of Hurricane Laura and/or Hurricane Delta, you may be eligible for assistance from Restore Louisiana, and we strongly encourage you to complete the initial program survey. The survey is the first step in for program assistance. After you complete the initial survey, the program will provide periodic text and email updates regarding program launch, application availability, and any next steps required.

    If your home was damaged by the May 2021 Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding; and/or Hurricane Ida, you are encouraged to complete a survey, but HUD has not yet issued a federal register notice for these events and program assistance is not currently available for these disaster events.

  • How is Restore Louisiana funded?

    Restore Louisiana is funded through federal CDBG-DR funds that HUD allocated to Louisiana. In October 2021, HUD allocated $600 million for all recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Laura and Delta. On March 22, 2022, a second allocation was announced, providing an additional $450 million for Hurricanes Laura and Delta recovery, bringing the total allocation for these storms to more than $1 billion. HUD also announced an allocation of $1.27 billion for Hurricane Ida. A portion of these funds will be dedicated to the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program.

  • What is the timeline for receiving federal funding for other disaster events in 2020–2021?

    In October 2021, HUD allocated $600 million for all recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Laura and Delta. On March 22, 2022, a second allocation was announced, providing an additional $450 million for Hurricanes Laura and Delta recovery, bringing the total allocation for these storms to more than $1 billion. HUD also announced an allocation of $1.27 billion for Hurricane Ida. A portion of these funds will be dedicated to the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program.

    At this time, there are still several federally required steps that must be completed before federal funds can be provided to the state for Restore Louisiana. While the state awaits funding approval from HUD, the Louisiana Office of Community Development—which administers Restore Louisiana—is launching the initial program survey to help avoid future delays in making program applications available and providing homeowners with the federal funds for their recovery.

  • Will funds be available to elevate my home?

    Elevations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Elevations for storm-damaged homes will be considered in the following circumstances:

    • Properties located within the floodplain that are required to be elevated by local ordinance and the local code enforcement officials’ determination that a property is substantially damaged or will be substantially improved; or

    • Properties outside of the floodplain which are required to be elevated by local ordinance as part of a reconstruction.

    If local code, ordinance or code enforcement official requires elevation of a hurricane-damaged home and that home has a slab-on-grade foundation, the only option for assistance under the Program will be reconstruction with elevation. The Program will not fund elevation of slab-on-grade structures.

    Please note that HUD requires BFE + 2 feet elevation in a 100-year floodplain regardless of what the height requirements are for your local jurisdiction. Also, dirt fill as an elevation method will not be funded by the Program.

  • Does the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program provide assistance to homeowners who need to demolish and reconstruct their hurricane-damaged home?

    The program does provide a reconstruction option for homeowners to demolish their storm-damaged home and construct a new residential structure if any of the following are true:

    • The storm-damaged home was demolished or unsafe to enter at the time of the damage assessment

    • They received a condemnation letter or substantial damage letter from their local jurisdiction

    • The relative percentage of the program repair estimate was greater than or equal to 80% of the reconstruction estimate

Program Survey

  • How do I complete the initial program survey?

    The program survey can be conveniently completed on your mobile device. Click here to complete the brief, initial program survey online at any time. If you need additional assistance, call 866-735-2001 Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to speak to a program representative.

  • Why do I need to complete a survey?

    This survey is the first step in applying for program assistance. Information you provide in your survey will allow the program to provide you with more information about step two—submitting a full program application. Once you submit a survey, the program will begin to provide text and email updates regarding program launch, application availability, and any next steps required. Your response will also assist the program in understanding the outstanding needs of homeowners affected by the 2020–2021 disasters. The program’s intent is to assist as many disaster-impacted homeowners as possible, while prioritizing assistance for the most vulnerable populations.

  • What information will I need to provide when I complete the survey?

    The initial program survey can be completed quickly from a mobile device and does not require you to upload any documentation during completion. However, you will need your FEMA Registration Number(s) and flood/hazard insurance policy information to finalize your survey. You must also have a working email address or mobile device that receives texts to complete the survey.

    If you are unable to complete the survey in one session, your progress can be saved, and you may return by logging on to complete the survey at your convenience.

    The program considers information regarding household income, homeowner age, household members with a disability, assistance you applied for and/or received from other funding sources (FEMA, SBA, flood/hazard insurance etc.), and the repair status of your home.

    All information you provide in your initial survey will be verified by the program during the application process to determine final eligibility.

    Please be wary of any fraudulent schemes and know that Restore Louisiana will never initiate a text or email that requests your personal identification information.

  • Why should I complete a survey now if the state doesn’t have the federal funds yet?

    Homeowners have waited long enough for disaster recovery assistance, and the program wants to provide that assistance to eligible homeowners as soon as possible once the state receives the federal funding. Completing the survey now removes another potential delay in making your program application available and receiving the federal funds for which you may be eligible.

  • Is there a deadline to complete the survey?

    No—at this time, there is no deadline to complete the survey. Future deadlines to complete the survey will be posted on the program website and social media. However, we recommend that you do not hesitate to complete the survey if your home sustained major/severe damage from Hurricane Laura or Hurricane Delta. In addition to being the first step in applying for assistance, your survey response will assist the program in understanding the outstanding needs of homeowners affected by the 2020–2021 disasters.

  • What is the next step after I complete the survey?

    After you complete the initial program survey, the program will begin to provide periodic text and email updates regarding program launch, application availability, and any next steps required.

FEMA, SBA & Insurance

  • Who can I contact if I have a question about my FEMA damage threshold, damage assessment or to submit an appeal regarding my FEMA determination?

    To contact FEMA, please call 1-800-621-3362 or visit fema.gov/assistance/individual/after-applying/appeals.

  • Who can I contact if I have questions about my SBA loan?

    To confirm receipt of payment toward your SBA loan, or for questions regarding the remittance, refunds or re-amortizations of an SBA loan, please reach out to the point of contact indicated on your SBA loan documentation.

Contacting Restore Louisiana

  • How can I contact the program?

    To speak with a program representative, please call 866-735-2001 between Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays).

  • Who can I contact regarding a question about the status of my submitted survey?

    The program will provide periodic updates via text or email regarding changes in survey status. You may also login to view your completed survey at any time. You may call 866-735-2001 to speak with a program representatives Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email info@restore-la.org, but further assistance will be unavailable until the full program launches in summer 2022.

  • I need additional assistance with completing my program survey. What should I do?

    For accommodations with visual or hearing impairments, or if you have a disability and may require additional accommodations, we are glad to assist you with navigating the survey process. Please 866-735-2001 or email info@restore-la.org to speak with a program representative who will assist you accordingly.

  • Does Restore Louisiana offer translation services?

    Yes, multilingual staff are available. Please call 866-735-2001 or email info@restore-la.org to indicate what translation is needed.

General Program Information

  • Am I eligible?

    If you owned your home and occupied it as a primary residence at the time of the disaster, have maintained ownership of the home since the disaster, and it sustained major/severe damage as the result of Hurricane Laura and/or Hurricane Delta, you may be eligible for assistance from Restore Louisiana. Completing the initial program survey is the first step in applying for program assistance. Information you provide in your survey will help the program evaluate your eligibility and allow the program to provide you with more information about step two—submitting a full program application. Once your survey is submitted, the program will begin to provide text and email updates regarding program launch, application availability, and any next steps required.

  • My home was damaged by Hurricane Laura or Hurricane Delta, but I sold it. Can I still receive assistance?

    No. To potentially receive assistance from Restore Louisiana, applicants must have owned their homes at the time of the disaster and must maintain ownership throughout their participation in the program. Selling, otherwise transferring, or receiving notice of default or seizure related to taxes, mortgage or title prior to completing your participation in the program will result in ineligibility.

  • My rental home was damaged by Hurricane Laura or Hurricane Delta. Can I still receive assistance?

    No. To potentially receive assistance from Restore Louisiana, applicants must own their home and must have occupied the home as a primary residence at the time of the disaster. If you own a home damaged by Hurricane Laura or Hurricane Delta but rented it to a tenant at the time of the disaster, or if you were a tenant in a home damaged by Hurricane Laura or Hurricane Delta, you cannot receive assistance from Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program at this time due to limited federal funding.

  • Can Restore Louisiana assist me with the contents of my home?

    No. Restore Louisiana is funded through federal CDBG-DR funds that HUD allocated to Louisiana—a condition of this funding is that it may only be used to assist homeowners with repairing or replacing the structure of their damaged homes. Restore Louisiana cannot use this funding to assist homeowners with replacing the contents of their damaged homes.

  • What is major/severe damage?

    Major/severe is a damage threshold determined by FEMA. The exact definition varies by disaster and depends on the type of weather event (flood, wind, etc.). For homeowners, major/severe damage is determined when at least one of the following criteria is met:

    • FEMA inspected residential damage of $8,000 or greater

    • FEMA inspected personal property damage of $3,500 or greater

    • At least one foot of flooding on the first floor

    If you are not sure whether you sustained major/severe damage from a 2020–2021 disaster, or if you would like to appeal a previous FEMA determination on your damage level, please do not hesitate to contact FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting fema.gov/assistance/individual/after-applying/appeals.

  • What is AMI?

    AMI is area median income—a set of income limits determined by HUD that is based on the average income for your parish and the number of people in your household.

  • I paid a contractor, but he/she never did the work. What should I do?

    If you haven’t already done so, please contact the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors about the issue; you can file a complaint online here. The Licensing Board also has a number of helpful resources for consumers, which you can find on their Consumer Guide page. To take legal action against the contractor, you will need to contact a private attorney or legal aid organization.

    As it relates to the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program, you are encouraged to have the following documents in your records for future reference:

    1. Police report

    2. Filed complaint with Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors

    3. Filed fraud report with attorney general’s office (more information here)

    Whenever you hire contractors, be sure to keep receipts, work orders and records of payment for future reference.