Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today urged homeowners impacted by the 2016 Louisiana flooding to submit applications for recovery assistance by the end of the month. 

More than 4,000 homeowners submitted initial paperwork but neglected to turn in completed applications.  They risk losing the opportunity for recovery assistance through the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program unless their applications are submitted by Oct. 1.

To reach Restore Louisiana, visit http://restore.la.gov/.

“The flooding devastated homeowners across Louisiana.  It touched nearly every parish,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I don’t want you to lose the opportunity for help to recover and rebuild.  If you flooded, then you need to apply for assistance.  Apply even if you think you don’t meet the qualifications.  These funds exist to help you.”

 

Dear Senator John Kennedy:

Thank you for your ongoing efforts and service in helping survivors rebuild and recover from the devastating floods of 2016. We are reaching out to inform you that the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program has set a deadline of October 1, 2018 for homeowners to submit an application for flood recovery assistance. This deadline only applies to just under 4,100 qualified homeowners who have submitted the initial program survey, were invited to apply and have not yet submitted their formal application.

At this time, I am requesting your assistance in ensuring the eligible homeowners in your district who were impacted by the March and/or August floods of 2016 are aware of the approaching application deadline. Our records indicate that there are 4045 homeowners in the state who qualify and have not yet completed their application. Because the Program will be unable to consider homeowners for future assistance who have not submitted an application by the October 1 deadline, regardless of any future change in policy, we are urging them to act soon.  We are also underway with outreach efforts including emails, text messages, phone calls, and mailers to this targeted set of qualified homeowners. 

If your office is willing to contact these homeowners who are potentially eligible for the Program, please contact us to request the list of names and we will facilitate your efforts for outreach.

Since 2016, our state has made great strides as we moved from immediate response efforts to long-term recovery, but we still have a long way to go. We’ve already processed 92% of all applications and anticipate that we will process all applications by the end of the year. To date, the Restore Homeowner Assistance Program has offered over $473 million in grant funds to more than 13,900 homeowners to repair or reconstruct their flood-damaged homes. We’ve successfully provided funds to homeowners faster than any other homeowner recovery program in the nation and we continue to increase our speed and efficiency in getting much-needed dollars in the hands of those still working to recover.

Furthermore, Governor John Bel Edwards has been working steadfastly with Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation, the Restore Louisiana Task Force, and the Office of Community Development to change the federal policies related to the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans that have created a duplication of benefits (DOB) penalty preventing roughly 10,000 flood-impacted Louisianans from participating in the Restore  Program whether they accepted all, some, or none of the loans. We continue to closely track all legislation related to potential changes in how SBA loans are considered a DOB and currently await further clarification and guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to understand how language passed in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 or future legislation may affect the program.

 

Thank you in advance for helping to make your constituents aware of the upcoming deadline. We appreciate your efforts to provide safer, stronger, and more resilient communities for the people of Louisiana.

Sincerely,

Pat Forbes

Executive Director

Office of Community Development

 

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