Parish News

Edwards orders Restore Louisiana program reopened

10/02/2018

Gov. John Bel Edwards has instructed the Office of Community Development to reopen the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program survey until Oct. 19 and extend the formal application deadline until Nov. 16.

Bell’s action is in response to a pending agreement reached by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to address the policy that currently considers Small Business Administration loans to be a duplication of benefits for federal grant funds.

That policy has prevented many flood survivors from receiving assistance needed to rebuild.

“We have been fighting to remove this federal impediment so that the Restore Louisiana program could provide assistance to more homeowners as they struggle to recover from the devastating floods of 2016,” Edwards said.

“Given the pending agreement reached in Congress, we want to give homeowners more time to complete the program survey and application to provide flood survivors with the assistance that should have been available to them from day one,” he added.

New legislation must first pass Congress and be signed into law by the President. Then, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development must provide guidance indicating it will no longer consider SBA loans for home repairs to be a duplication of benefits.

 Awards for all current applicants impacted by the legislation regardless of where they are in the program will then be updated. The program is implementing the change immediately and will contact applicants as the workflow progresses.

The initial program survey was reopened Sept. 24 and all flood-impacted homeowners who got SBA loans and have not yet taken the initial program survey are strongly encouraged to do so, regardless of income or whether repairs have been completed.

Surveys take less than 15 minutes to complete and are accessible online at restore.la.gov or by calling 1-866-735-2001 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, homeowners may visit one of the program’s four Housing Assistance Centers in Baton Rouge, Hammond, Lafayette and Monroe, all of which are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Homeowners who meet program eligibility requirements based on their responses to the initial survey will be invited to complete a formal application. No action is needed by homeowners who have already submitted a program survey or application.

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