Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program Announces Deadline to Complete the Survey
It is your federal tax dollars that fund the HUD CDBG-DR grant programs. If you dont apply, your state will use the dollars for its projects, and youll still be paying out of pocket for all your disaster recovery expenses.
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By Murray Wennerlund published 6-6-2023 updated 6-6-2023
Make a contribution Print Grants LA Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR HUD) Hurricanes and tropical storms 365 views

The state of Louisiana has received one-way federal tax dollars for homeowners via the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. These tax dollars are given by congress to assist homeowners. If homeowners do not use all of the tax dollars allocated the remaining money goes to programs created by the executive branch of your state's government. In the case of Louisiana, the more homeowners don't know about the program and the more homeowners give up or just don't try to qualify for the grants the more money the state has to spend next session. Similar to the windfall earnings from the 2020 pandemic grants given to the state but not spent as allocated by congress are not funding other projects unrelated to the pandemic.

The Restore Lousiana Homeowners Assistance program relaunched. in February 2022 hand over 22,300 homeowners submit the Disaster Assistance Survey. In this survey there was 3 "Gotcha's" offered that would disqualify even those who would have qualified if they had a person explain how to answer the questions in the survey. I want you all to take the survey again, make sure you read my article about the survey questions before you attempt a second survey and write your answers down beforehand, so you are better prepared. Ask me for help if you need it after you read this my article linked here: "You may have answered questions incorrectly when you completed your Restore Louisiana Program Survey.

The state seems to have placed a maximum amount of federal tax dollars allocated to assist homeowners to the tune of $350 million. Even if the state was awarded more than twice that amount. The OCD-DRU who manages HUD Grants will follow the Governor's office of Emergency Management and Preparedness to limit the amount of assistance to homeowners. This year it appears to be limited to $350 million to homeowners. Currently the state is claiming to have offered $232.8 million to applicants. An offer doesn't mean the grant funds have been given. The state has invited only 8,579 homeowners to submit an application which doesn't guarantee the applicant will qualify for the grant funds. Out of the 8,579 the state has processed 2,900 which tells me many were found ineligible for reasons the homeowners could appeal. 

Keep this in mind, the director of the OCD-DRU in the state of Louisiana treats the funds for these grants are gold nuggets for state coffers. The Grant program for homeowners is managed as a "Reimbursement" and not a scheduled draw plan like you would have with a bank. You will have to come up with the money to complete repairs and then ask for reimbursement. This practice reduces percentage of homeowners that would not use the grant money to pay for repairs of their homes. The percentage of homeowners misusing grant funds after a disaster was 4% when it was a distributed grant system similar to the Katrina days. Today, we have more than 17% of households defaulting on loans in their first f12 months trying to meet the goals of the grant program. In either case, you have to be very creative with your repairs to make it to your first grant draw. Then you need to be very careful who you hire and when you pay from your draw while you float other money. It's not impossible to make it work but you have to be aware of your cashflow at all times when you take the responsibility of repairing your home. Otherwise, you can allow the state to manage all your repairs and you will get what the state contractors provide and that's it.

So, take time and read how to complete the Restore Survey and then read over articles of past efforts to make the system more homeowner friendly. It's work, it takes time, it takes money to recover from a disaster. 

Housing Recovery Description: Activities that lead to restoring and improving the housing stock.

  • New construction
  • Rehabilitation / reconstruction
  • Single family or multifamily
  • Owner or rental

HUD CDBG-DR Grants also cover: 

  • Reimbursement of private loans and private funds used to repair or replace your home.
  • Legal fees paid to increase your insurance payout that are not covered by other means.
  • Mortgages and rental costs during your recovery for up to 22 months and at Fair Market Rents value.
  • Low-income assistance for flood insurance coverage up to one year.

Read about the program and learn what you can use federal grant dollars for. 
Not all of those who benefited from the HUD CDBG-DR grans are low-income. For the 2016 floods more average and above income households gained access to more tax dollars to reimburse for repairs and reconstruction than all the low-income applicants combined. HUD does focus on the households below 120% AMI but HUD allows the state to manage the money with little oversight, so apply no matter your income level. You'll find the state manages to assist all income levels below AGI of $1million.

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