Disaster Assistance, how to begin.
Recovering after declared disaster takes time and knowledge of federal policy and process.

Get your FEMA Verified Loss damage assessment FEMA-4559-DR, Louisiana Disaster Declaration as of 11/20/2020

by Murray Wennerlund published 11-29-2020
Today, November 29, 2020 and what you do this coming week will change how your disaster recovery unfolds. Those that know the state of Louisiana OCD-DRU are working the numbers while others are going to be penalized as with every disaster in state.

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RE: Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on Status of Facilities Authorized Under Section 13(3) Federal Reserve Act

by Murray Wennerlund published 11-29-2020 updated 1-11-2022
With a congress knowledgeable of the issues caused by the pandemic it is clear to me we can allocate the funds you have removed very quickly and more efficiently than before. This time we can get the money in the hands of business owners at a local level.

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State Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Offices

by Writers Pool published 11-28-2020 updated 1-15-2022
Find your states UI and PUA office from the list provided here. See what the maximum amounts and minimum amounts. Learn what your state is doing to assist those in need of unemployment compensation during the pandemic and beyond the disaster.

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Restore Louisiana Homeowners SBA DOB payoff Hardship application highlights

by Contributor published 11-20-2020 updated 1-15-2022
If you are in Louisiana and have an SBA loan from the 2016 floods you most likely are very aware of the June 20th 2019 HUD Guidance that allows you to use HUD CDBG-DR funds to payoff SBA debt if you can show HUD you have a financial hardship repaying debt

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V.C.2. FUNDS FOR SAME PURPOSE, DIFFERENT ALLOWABLE USE. HUD Guidance June 2019 explained to benefit homeowners

by Murray Wennerlund published 11-13-2020
When HUD published updated duplication of benefits policy most states didnt pass the information on to those that the new guidance would assist. In Louisiana the state only addressed issues it was required to address and all others simply ignored.

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How to fund your federal disaster recovery in any part of the United States of America.

by Murray Wennerlund published 11-8-2020 updated 5-16-2022
Learn how to fund your recovery project after being a victim of a federally declared disaster. You can also use some of these agencies to recovery from local and state declared disasters. Most of the focus here is on federal agencies and programs.

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Landlords with non paying renters because of unemployment.

by Murray Wennerlund published 9-20-2020
Multifamily rental units occupied by non paying renters of no fault of their own for the COVID-19 job loss they are experiencing. I am researching the option to assist landlords with mortgages based on number of units at fair market rates.

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Disaster Housing Needs for Louisiana 1st District Representative Steve Scalise

by Writers Pool published 9-19-2020 updated 1-15-2022
Disaster Recovery seems to be more of a knee jerk reactionary response by representatives more than what is promoted in the Get a Game Plan material. Imagine if leadership would approach disaster preparation like a general would preparing for war.

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Louisiana State and Local Level Assistance Referral agencies for the 2020 disaster recovery experience.

by Murray Wennerlund published 9-13-2020 updated 1-15-2022
We have hundreds of local services and this is a short contact list registered with the federal emergency management agency FEMA.

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U.S. Small Business Administration Louisiana Resources to Help Businesses Recover from hurricane Laura

by Murray Wennerlund published 9-10-2020 updated 1-15-2022
Louisiana Small Business Development Centers SBDCs SBDCs are providing the following services to help small businesses impacted by the disaster no charge for any services:

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Our Federal Government Policy for disaster assistance labeled "Sequence of Delivery" for Disaster Relief and Assistance follows two standards that will seriously harm more than 35% of all disaster survivors in any state, county or parish in the United States of America. If you are below average income levels for your community you are in a group that can not afford to take on additional debt. The debt the federal government is going to ask you to take is equal to the total of your disaster recovery costs. Congress pushed to have all disaster survivors take SBA Disaster Loans after applying for FEMA temporary disaster relief. The Small Business Administration Disaster Recovery Loans will grant loans to income groups labeled Low Income by using real property as collateral. The SBA and FEMA will not tell you about other federal disaster assistance that is available to you that is not listed in their sequence of delivery. In fact, your state governors disaster response team will not mention anything outside of the same FEMA sequence of delivery for disaster relief. 

This year it's more important to understand what is available to you and to limit the amount of household debt you place on your working members of your family. In Louisiana we have a serious issue with programs being setup to be reimbursements instead of grants. Grants are given for a specific purpose and you apply those funds as instructed by the grantee. In the state of Louisiana the Governors office to the director of the grant programs feels homeowners would rather purchase a new truck than to repair their home damaged in the disaster. This was stated publicly April 13, 2018 by the director of the OCD-DRU who is responsible for over $1 billion in disaster aid yearly. 

Issues with reimbursement programs are numerous for low to moderate income (LMI) households. Many LMI households mistakenly use FEMA disaster relief funds incorrectly and end up counting against them. A LMI family that received $30,000 to make temporary repairs to their home would have that $30,000 in temporary repairs deducted from any additional relief funds that are provided by the federal government. Many people used a part of their temporary repair funds to purchase vehicles after the flood to be able to return to work. Others spent the FEMA assistance on appliances, flooring, and other items that did not fall into the approved items list of other programs. When you are found to have been given duplicative grants or assistance you have to return the funds before you can receive additional funds. Some programs will allow you to show the work completed with the funds and credit you toward additional grants. 

If you received $30,000 from FEMA then were offered $65,000 from another grant program the $30,000 from FEMA would be considered a duplication of benefits from federal disaster assistance programs.  Your $65,000 grant would be reduced by the amount of the FEMA grant. Most states follow their own policies which they create after each disaster. They are not held responsible to assist anyone with the federal funds distributed to the states. In fact, if the state finds you ineligible for any reason from not cooperating with state workers to moving too slow with your recovery efforts they will terminate your funding before it's issue. 

The Number One Rule for LMI households is to refuse the SBA loan offered and to wait out the federal governments push to have you adsorb all debts related to the disaster. Calculations show that after each disaster the LMI household looses 33% of their total net worth if you follow the federal sequence of delivery. This means after your 3rd disaster your household is unable to recover from future disasters and your debt is more than your total assets leaving your net worth at zero or less than zero. This is when homes start their decay phase and does not stop until the property is sold and the family reduces their disaster debt.  

We have been working with hundreds of disaster victims and providing oversight of state programs. We are also disaster survivors rebuilding after the 2016 floods in Louisiana. It's not easy, we know more reasons to take the easy way out and just give up and accept the total disaster debt on your shoulders. Your state would appreciate you dropping out of the program because they will transfer the federal grant funds allocated to you to a state managed program that will not assist homeowners with their disaster debt. The state of Louisiana averages 35% of households are labeled as dropouts or as they state, "Voluntary withdrawal from the Grant Program." 

Voluntary withdrawal includes: 

  • State rescinds (terminates) your grant for their own reasons and will not tell you about your right to appeal.
  • State rescinds your grant because you argue with your state hired call center worker claiming if you do not corporate with temporary call center workers those workers can request your grant be terminated.

You get the picture, you will voluntarily withdraw from the program if you do not follow program policy as it is created. Policy does not have to be made public and can be back dated. Your Voluntary actions may not seem so voluntary when you are not told you can appeal the states effort to remove you from grant programs. Thousands of homeowners have been terminated for policy reasons that didn't need to be terminated. It's of no fault to the homeowner that their income limits their recovery time. It's grant programs that are designed to help the low to moderate income households but those same programs allow states to create policy that allows the state not to distribute grants to households so they can rebuild after the disaster. 

Read more within the pages of this site. Learn how to ask questions and learn what the federal programs are offering you for disaster recovery. 

 

 

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