Duplication of benefits is the receipt of funding from multiple sources for the same purpose. The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Act (Stafford Act) prohibits any person, business concern or other entity from receiving financial assistance from CDBG Disaster Recovery funding with respect to any part of the loss resulting from a major disaster as to which he/she has already received financial assistance under any other program or from insurance or any other sources. It is an amount determined by the program that may result in the reduction of an award value.
Duplication of benefits includes assistance from FEMA, the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), private and NFIP flood insurance, or any other source for which funds are designated toward the rehabilitation or reconstruction of an applicant’s structure.
On Friday, June 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new updated guidance regarding Small Business Administration (SBA) loans being considered a Duplication of Benefits (DOB) for federal grant dollars available through Restore Louisiana. This new guidance only applies to SBA loans.
The guidance includes various stipulations for how Restore Louisiana may update the grant DOB calculation, depending on whether a homeowner declined, canceled, or drew down in whole or part SBA loan funds, as well as whether a homeowner’s total household income is below or above 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). AMI is a federal metric that defines the midpoint of a region’s income distribution while also taking into account an individual’s parish and household size.
HUD’s guidance stated:
For more information, click here.
On Friday, October 11, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided a partial approval to the state’s action plan amendment (APA 12) for Small Business Administration loans being counted as a Duplication of Benefits. You may access the Program statement regarding this matter at this link.
Details about what this means for you are listed below:
If your household income is at or below 120 percent AMI and you have already closed on your grant agreement:
If your household income is at or below 120 percent AMI and you have not yet closed on your grant agreement or you were previously in “zero award” status:
If your household income is above 120 percent AMI:
You can log in to your account to see the Area Median Income (AMI) the program used to calculate your grant award. (AMI is a federal metric that defines the midpoint of a region’s income distribution while also taking into account an individual’s parish and household size.)
To identify the 120% AMI threshold for your parish and household size, please click here to view HUD’s CDBG Income Limits.
The Program is working to review accounts with regard to income. If your circumstance has recently changed, please reach out to your case manager.
Homeowners who sold their home after closing on their Program grant award, had a Program inspection, finished all repairs, completed their participation in the Program and received a certificate of occupancy where applicable, may be eligible to receive additional grant funds.
Solution 3 homeowners with SBA DOB that sold their damaged residence while in Zero Award status may be eligible for grant funds if they:
If a Solution 3 homeowner with SBA DOB sells their home after moving out of Zero Award status and into a positive award status before completing their participation in the Program, they are no longer eligible to receive grant funds.
If you have any questions concerning your sold home, please call 866-735-2001 to speak with a Program representative.
No, Restore Louisiana is unable to issue grant funds for home elevation or disability accommodations in this situation. However, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement for your SBA loan if you are able to demonstrate completed work from your home construction project up to the disbursed SBA payment amount in addition to complying with other requirements of the program (i.e. provide flood insurance if located in an SFHA, currently own the property, etc.).
In conjunction with HUD’s notice regarding policy on SBA duplication of benefits, Restore Louisiana is now processing SBA loan reimbursements for those households with average median income (AMI) above 120%.
HUD approved two of the nine proposed hardship criteria which are hardship due to housing cost burden and hardship due to SBA loan repayment.
Homeowners may be eligible for a hardship exception if they can:
The Program began sending correspondence to homeowners with SBA loans and AMI >120% who may potentially qualify for a hardship exception to invite them to submit a SBA Hardship Exception Application on Friday, May 8, 2020.
Applying for a SBA Hardship Exception begins with a two-step process.
The application and all supporting documentation must be submitted by Friday, June 19, 2020.
Once the homeowner completes the SBA Hardship Exception Application and has submitted all necessary documentation, the program will vet the information to confirm if the homeowner meets one of the two criteria. If met, the information will be sent to HUD for review and approval on a weekly basis. We do not have a projected turnaround time for HUD processing, however, once the program is notified that the hardship has been approved by HUD, the Program will immediately work to update each homeowner’s grant award.
Once the homeowner has accepted the updated award, the Program will reach out with further instructions. If applicable, the Program may conduct a final inspection to verify that all construction on the home is completed. The payment will be sent as a two-party check to the homeowner to endorse and mail to the SBA as payment toward their outstanding SBA loan. Processing could take several weeks by SBA after they receive the check, and homeowners should continue to make payments on their SBA loan until notified by SBA that their loan is satisfied in full.
SBA hardship award adjustments will be capped at 50% of the amount of SBA total disbursed calculation because, per HUD requirements, the program must expend at least 55% of all grant funds to the benefit of low to moderate income households. The 50% cap is necessary to ensure compliance with the HUD requirements.
The Program will notify the homeowner and review the submitted documentation to ensure all information that can be used is included in the hardship request, and will resubmit to HUD if possible.
As a result of the Governor’s statewide Stay at Home order, the Restore Louisiana Program’s Homeowner Assistance Center is temporarily closed to the public, however, we continue to conduct standard program operations by phone or by email as needed. All documentation related to the hardship exception process can be submitted electronically or by U.S. Mail.
In 2016, after Gov. John Bel Edwards sought federal flood recovery funding for Louisiana, Congress provided three appropriations of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds for nationwide recovery from several disasters. These funds were allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to various states. HUD allocated $437.8 million from the first appropriation, $1.2 billion from the second appropriation and $51 million from the third appropriation to Louisiana. The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program is administered by the state Office of Community Development, Disaster Recovery Unit.
For more information on eligibility, please visit restore.la.gov/recovery-assistance/homeowner-assistance/do-i-qualify/
No, it does not. The Restore Louisiana Task Force approved an expansion to include all homeowners with structural flood insurance on August 18, 2017. For more information please visit our “Do I Qualify?” page.
The Program is not able to cover the costs to replace the contents of a home.
Elevations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Elevations will be considered in the following circumstances:
If local code, ordinance or code enforcement official requires elevation of a 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 elevate slab-on-grade structures.
The Homeowner Assistance Program process consists of six steps for eligible homeowners (determined after submission of the program survey). While the timeline for this process may vary from homeowner to homeowner based on a number of factors, Restore Louisiana is committed to working as quickly and efficiently as possible to meet all program requirements and provide recovery assistance to homeowners.
To view the full process, please click here.
Yes, homeowners may switch between Solution 1 (Program-Managed construction) and Solution 2 (Homeowner-Managed construction) anytime prior to closing on their grant agreement. More information on switching solutions can be found here.
No, program policy requires homeowners to self-certify that they still own the damaged property and have not transferred it or received notices of default or seizure related to taxes, mortgage, or title prior to receiving a grant award. Additionally, the program requires that homeowners maintain ownership throughout the entirety of their participation in the program.
You may want to reset your password, which can be done here or by clicking the key icon in the top right corner of the eGrants Plus page.
If you continue to experience technical difficulties, please reach out to us at 866-735-2001 (M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for additional assistance.
At any time during their participation in the Restore Louisiana program, applicants may request a copy of their file from their case manager (pursuant to Louisiana Public Access Law La. R.S. 44:1). If an applicant wants to print out any portion of their file available through their eGrants account, they may do so.
Also, requests can be made by submitting this form using one of the following options:
The applicant file will only be forwarded or mailed to the mailing address on file. A file will never be mailed to a third party (communication designee, advocate, attorney, or other person) without the express written authorization from the applicant and the State. Please reach out to your case manager if you have any questions regarding this process.
The following deadlines apply to the Homeowner Assistance Program. If you have any questions about the deadlines below and how they may impact you, please contact your case manager or call 866-735-2001.
* This deadline may not apply if you have SBA DOB. Please reach out to your assigned case manager with any questions.
The environmental review is the process of reviewing a project and its potential environmental impact to determine whether it meets federal, state, and local environmental standards. This process is required by federal regulation to ensure that the proposed project does not negatively impact the environment and our citizens.
An environmental review must be completed prior to home construction. The process starts with an inspection of the flood damaged property where an inspector observes the exterior of the home and the surrounding environment. Using photographs, aerial maps, and public databases to assess each property, our inspectors may also consult with state and federal agencies such as the State Historic Preservation Office or the Environmental Protection Agency. Each property is evaluated for characteristics such as whether the property is impacted by or impacts floodplains, historical districts, aquifers, natural and scenic state and federal streams, toxic sites such as landfills, etc. While passing the environmental review is not a guarantee of a grant award, its successful completion is a critical first step.
The environmental review is separate and distinct from the damage assessment inspection. The environmental review is conducted without an appointment and from the road or right-of-way. Inspectors do not need to enter onto the property, unless the property is secluded on a private road or is not viewable from the right-of-way. The damage assessment inspection, will occur later in the process and will require an appointment and access to the interior of your property.
The program conducts an environmental review after the survey completion and prior to homeowner application to the program. Environmental inspectors do not enter the inside of a property. These reviews are conducted from the right of way and no appointment is scheduled with the homeowner. A program inspector will take photographs of the property and note any visible environmental conditions. All inspectors will wear a collared shirt with the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program logo and carry an identification badge.
For more information on lead-based paint assessments, view our guidance document here.
Any homeowner that is looking for a Louisiana licensed contractor should refer to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors website at www.lslbc.louisiana.gov, which contains valuable information for consumers on how to hire a licensed contractor, along with an online contractor search to confirm Louisiana contractor license status. The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program does require all homebuilding contractors to be Louisiana licensed and insured. Please see our “10 Tips to Remember When Hiring a Contractor” flyer for additional information.
Construction Technical Advisors (CTAs) are available to provide Solution 2 homeowners with the information and assistance necessary to support compliance with Program rules. At any point during the construction process, the homeowner can request a joint meeting with the program CTA and their contractor, particularly prior to start of their project. Also homeowners may request a Communications Designee form from their case manager if they would like their contractor to be able to contact the CTA directly regarding details of construction.
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 “for consumers” 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:
Green Building Standards aim to ensure construction is completed in an environmentally-responsible and resource-efficient way. The Program has developed the Green Building Guidance Document to educate applicants on how they can ensure compliance.
For more information on the Program’s Green Building Standards, and to view specific checklists listed in the Guidance Document, visit the overview page here.
If you are a contractor working with a Solution 2 homeowner, you must work with the homeowner who is required to submit the following documents to the Program:
Construction Technical Advisors (CTAs) are available to provide homeowners with the information and assistance necessary to support compliance with Program rules. If the contractor would like to directly contact the CTA, they must have a communication designee form on file with the Program that is submitted by the homeowner in order to discuss project specific questions.
Construction progress will be monitored, and payment of each progress draw is contingent upon satisfactory inspection of the home by the Program. The homeowner is solely responsible for paying for any contracted work directly to the contractor.
The Program will not pay any advance payment on behalf of a homeowner, regardless of the terms of the homeowner’s contract between the homeowner and their homebuilding/home improvement contractor. The Program will issue no more than five construction draws during the project, regardless of the terms of the homeowner’s contract.
Further, these procedures do not create a contractual relationship between the Program and the homeowner’s homebuilding/home improvement contractor. Finally, the homeowner’s homebuilding/home improvement contractor is not a third-party beneficiary of the homeowner’s grant agreement between the homeowner and the Program.
For more helpful information, please see the Solution 2 Guidance Document.
To review Program Guidelines, click here.
Restore Louisiana funding can cover the cost for transport, set-up, and site work necessary to install the new replacement MHU unit. If the homeowner is relocating the MHU to a new location, they must advise their dealer and their Construction Technical Advisor (CTA), as the address will need to be approved by the Program before delivery of the new MHU. If the location is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), Program funding may be available to cover the cost of elevation.
Prior to accepting your Program award and prior to requesting a final inspection, please see the MHU Checklist for helpful information about the installation and site prep requirements.
During the damage assessment, a program representative will perform a detailed inspection of the home to determine a dollar amount (based on economy/standard-grade materials) for the work already completed on the home and the work that remains. The Program will then review any other benefits received from other sources, such as FEMA Individual Assistance. Federal law requires the accounting of other benefits in calculating the grant award. From there, the formula for calculating a homeowner’s grant award is as follows:
All qualifying homeowners are eligible for 100% of the maximum reimbursement and remaining repair award.
This video provides additional information on how the Program calculates grant awards.
If a homeowner feels that the program incorrectly calculated their grant award based on existing policy and has new documentation that was not submitted with the homeowner’s application, he or she may file an appeal.
Appeals must be filed prior to signing your grant award or within thirty days of the date you received your grant award determination letter, whichever occurs first.
The appeal request can be submitted in one of the following ways:
eGrants: You should access the Appeal Form by selecting the Appeal radio button on the Award Acknowledgement screen within eGrants. The Request for Appeal form will display with Save and Submit buttons. Once you have completed the form, and all documents to support your Appeal have been provided, then Submit the form. If additional time is needed to gather documents and information to support the Appeal, then you can choose Save to save the entry to submit at a later time. Note: It is the homeowners’ responsibility to provide all documents necessary to support their appeal at the time of submission.
In Person: If you are unable to file an appeal online, you will need to schedule an in-person meeting with your Case Manager.
Regardless of the reason(s) you have filed an appeal, your entire file will undergo a full review. You must be aware that this full file review may result in positive or negative changes to your eligibility status or an increase or decrease in your previous award amount. Such variations in your final award are necessary to ensure that your home is properly repaired and that the Program only pays for work that is necessary and reasonable within Program guidelines. In any instance of a decrease in the actual cost of your repair or reconstruction, the grant award and disbursements will be reduced to reflect the reduction in repair or construction costs.
You can choose one of three solutions based on your progress in the rebuilding process and your capacity to complete the work. Program staff will provide guidance to homeowners on the requirements for each solution.
Solution 1: Program-Managed. The 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 may choose to manage their own repair or reconstruction work. Under this option, a homeowner chooses to hire a licensed residential contractor or registered home improvement contractor, or they can self-manage repairs. While the Program provides funding based on economy-grade materials and finishes, under this option, the homeowner may select higher grade materials and finishes and pay the difference in price. 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. For more information, view the “Preparing for Homeowner-Managed Construction (Solution 2)” guidance document here.
Solution 3: Reimbursement. Homeowners who have completed partial or full repairs before applying to the Program may qualify for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred before the application process or before December 31, 2018, whichever is sooner.
Solution 3 – Reimbursement
If you are eligible for reimbursement for work already completed, the Program will request funds in the amount of your approved reimbursement award once your grant agreement is signed. Processing will take approximately 3-4 weeks. Once funds are ready for disbursement, your check will be mailed to your preferred address.
Solution 2 – Homeowner-Managed Construction
If you have chosen Solution 2 (Homeowner-Managed Construction), you will work with a Construction Technical Advisor (CTA) during the contractor selection phase of the Program to determine the number of progress inspections and requests for payment that will be required for rebuilding. Once a progress inspection is performed, payment will be provided consistent with work completed. Please note that the estimated timeline for each payment is 3-4 weeks following the completion and approval of the progress inspection.
Solution 2 – Manufactured Home/Mobile Home Replacement Assistance
For homeowners who are eligible for manufactured/mobile home replacement under Solution 2, payment will be requested once you have signed the grant agreement, provided a purchase agreement to the Program, and a final inspection is performed. Once these steps are complete, it will take approximately 3-4 weeks for the check to be issued to either the MHU dealer (if purchase not completed) or the finance company (if purchase is complete).
Solution 1 – Program-Managed Construction
Payments are provided directly to the contractor under Solution 1.
If you chose Solution 1 and are also eligible for reimbursement (Solution 3), the estimated timeline for disbursement of reimbursement funds is approximately 3-4 weeks from the date you sign your grant award.
Solution 1 – Program-Managed Construction
For homeowners who choose Solution 1 (Program-Managed Construction), the Program will issue a Notice to Proceed (NTP) to the contractor (the same company that has already conducted your pre-construction walk-through) after you sign your grant award. The contractor will contact you within 2-3 business days after they receive the NTP to discuss a construction start date and plans for relocation during construction (if required). The contractor will also submit all required building permits and schedule all program and permit required inspections.
Solution 2 – Homeowner-Managed Construction
For homeowners who choose Solution 2 (Homeowner-Managed Construction), a Construction Technical Advisor will contact you either by email (if an email address is on file with the Program) or by phone within 3-5 business days after you sign your grant award to issue a Notice to Proceed in reference to prospective repairs. If repairs to the home are underway or have been completed since the damage assessment was conducted, please notify your Construction Technical Advisor by responding via email or during the introductory phone call so that a progress or final inspection may be scheduled. These inspections will be required to approve the disbursement of funds for work completed.
Restore Louisiana’s policy is to replace, not rehabilitate/repair, flood-damaged mobile home units to best serve the long-term housing needs of flood-affected citizens and protect homeowners from potential future environmental health hazards. Water damage to manufactured housing often results in serious structural and environmental health hazards for occupants of manufactured housing units that may not be effectively remediated with repair activities. Newer manufactured housing units are built to higher construction standards and offer more energy-efficient options that result in better utility efficiency and lower utility charges.
The Homeowner Assistance Program will provide funds for the replacement of single-wide or double-wide damaged units and the homeowner has complete control over the choice of the unit they select. The maximum Program allowance is $45,000 for single-wide units and $65,000 for double-wide units. The maximum Program allowance will be reduced by any duplication of benefits. Once the maximum allowance has been determined, the Program will compare this amount with the actual cost of the replacement MHU and adjust the applicant’s award to the lesser of the two. The funding can cover the cost, transport, set-up, and site work necessary to install the unit.
Additionally, applicants are able to provide receipts to document repairs made to mobile home units using funds received for structural repairs from federal funding sources. The receipts will be reviewed, and all eligible expenditures will be used to offset Duplication of Benefits (DOB).
For more information, view the “Manufactured Housing Replacement Assistance (Solution 2)” guidance document here.
Demolition costs are handled by the program in the following ways:
Reconstruction: If your home qualifies for reconstruction with the program, demolition of the flood-damaged structure will be included. The $78 per square foot allowance includes the cost of demolition of the previous structure.
Structure replaced with MHU or Demolished Prior to Damage Assessment: If a homeowner has previously replaced a flood-damaged MHU or stick-built home with a new MHU, demolition of the previous structure will NOT be included in the reimbursement calculation.
Any demolition costs associated with a stick-built property, if applicable, are included within the replacement manufactured housing unit Program allowance and are not considered additional costs.
The program does provide a reconstruction option for homeowners to demolish their flood-damaged home and construct a new residential structure if any of the following are true:
Homeowners who are eligible for reconstruction may also choose between Solution 1: Program-Managed reconstruction or Solution 2: Homeowner-Managed reconstruction.
More information on reconstruction can be found here.
Please speak to your case manager about temporary housing options that may be available for homeowners who are required to move out of their home during the construction process.
In cases where a homeowner received or was approved for funding from other sources (such as FEMA or SBA) to repair his/her storm-damaged home, federal law requires those funds to be invested by the homeowner into home repair before the Program may provide additional dollars.
Applicants who cannot fulfill their escrow or homeowner responsibility obligations at the time of grant execution may be eligible for Scope Deferment to the extent that their eligible repair scope includes items that are non-essential for occupancy or habitability. Scope deferment is not intended to remove the cost of the scope item from the responsibility of the homeowner, but rather to defer the work to the end of the construction project. For more information about Scope Deferment, reach out to your case manager or click here.
If your structure is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you will be required to maintain adequate structural flood insurance at ALL times for your home.
For more information on flood insurance requirements, see our Flood Insurance Requirements Guidance Document. We encourage you to check with your local floodplain manager if you have questions about your flood zone determination.