FEMA returns to In-Home Housing Inspections to determine disaster damage for financial assistance June 2022.
Was your 2020 and 2021 FEMA disaster inspection limited to exterior damage only? Did your state tell you that you do not qualify for other assistance because your FEMA inspection wasnt completed or didnt show 8,000 or more in damages to be classified?

By Murray Wennerlund published 11-28-2022 updated 12-5-2022

The "Program" or "Restore" is actually the HUD CDBG-DR Disaster Grant Funding program that is to assist those without insurance, low or moderate income, disabled, over 62, and have damage estimates of over $8,000 (major/severe) per FEMA damage assessments and inspections only. 

FEMA did not do field or in-home inspections for the calendar year 2020. Inspection reports were often created by homeowners who are not experienced with the true process of estimating damages to the home. FEMA call centers would ask the homeowner questions and with the answers determine the amount of damage. 

In 2021 FEMA opened the inspections to in-home complete inspections if CDC policies were followed. Most all inspections in 2021 were completed the same way as the 2020 inspections. 

FEMA started allowing full inspections to include in-home inspections June 2022. If you have had any FEMA inspection between February 2020 and June 2022 you should ask FEMA to reinspect your home to include in-home inspections. 

Many of you might have completed repairs, present receipts, invoices, cancelled checks, pictures to the inspector to show what structural repairs you made so they can focus their inspection on what was damaged.  

You may have been sent an email or letter that looks like: 

"Dear Homeowner: 

Thank you for completing the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program survey. Based on your survey responses, we are contacting you to let you know that your file did not phase for prioritization of funding because the FEMA inspection was not completed on your property. Per Restore Program requirements, all properties must be determined by FEMA to have major/severe damage

You are encouraged to contact FEMA to check on the status of your inspection by calling 1-800-621-3362. If your FEMA award has been updated since January 2022, please call our call center at (866) 735-2001 and be prepared to send copies of your updated FEMA award to info@restore-la.org

For more information about the program's guidelines, see more information here .

If you have any questions about the program, please visit to info@restore-la.org, email to info@restore-la.org, or call 866-735-2001 for more information.

Thank you,

The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program"

For disasters in Louisiana the letter would say you have to email your updated damage assessment to them. Be sure you have your major/severe damage category listed on your FEMA estimate. If not, the program will deem you ineligible and you will have to repeat the process of appealing to FEMA and then to the state. 

HUD published: "Methods for Estimating Serious Unmet Needs for Housing" The data HUD uses to calculate unmet needs for 2020 and 2021 qualifying disasters come from the FEMA Individual Assistance program data on housing-unit damage as of February 10, 2022 and reflect disasters occurring in 2020 and 2021. 2022-10969 p-84 

The Restore Louisiana Homeowners Assistance Program sent out letters to homeowners this week effectively denying them any assistance if they couldn’t provide a FEMA Inspection Report.


Restore LA Email/Letter: "... FEMA inspection was not completed on your property. Per Restore Program requirements, all properties must be determined by FEMA to have major/severe damage."

Resource: Restore Homeowners Assistance Manual Oct. 3, 2022  RLHP20 21 Policy Manual V2.0 10-3-2022

To be placed in a phase, homeowners must meet all eligibility criteria and must have sustained
Major/Severe damage, as defined by HUD to be $8,000 or more real property damage, $3,500
personal property damage or greater than 1 foot. flooding as determined by FEMA and is the direct
result of one or more of the qualifying federally declared disasters listed in Section V.

I have found HUD CDBG-DR Training actually instructs the state to look for other resources if FEMA inspections are not available. Below is a snip of just one of those training documents that the state is asked to complete each year.

  1. “Subrecipient’s obligations are as follows:
  1. For assistance activities, it must be demonstrated that the damage or destruction to structures was a direct result of disaster. Disaster damage can be documented as follows:


  1. FEMA, SBA or Insurance award letters.
  2. In the event that the above-referenced documentation is not available, an inspection report (complete with photos of the damage and a written assessment of the damage) from a damage assessment conducted by a qualified inspector supplied by the subrecipient that certifies that the damage occurred as a result of the disaster will be acceptable.
  3. In the event that FEMA, SBA or Insurance award letters are not available and an inspection report is inconclusive as to the cause of the damage, the subrecipient may provide alternative evidence, such as neighborhood-level media reports or documentation of damage by disaster response/relief organizations on a case-by-case basis to the DR grantee for review and approval.
  4. If an applicant was denied assistance by FEMA, assistance through the CDBG Disaster Recovery Program may still be available. Subrecipients are prohibited from refusing housing assistance to applicants solely on the basis that the applicants were denied assistance by FEMA.

How to request a new inspection from FEMA: 

  1. Have your FEMA Disaster Assistance  
  2. Call the FEMA call center at (866) 735-2001
  3. Very politely ask if their is a record of an exterior and interior (in-home) inspection completed. 
    1. FEMA call center person will review and respond with "Exterior inspection only".
    2. If you do not have a copy of the inspection you will now ask for a copy and request that it be emailed and mailed to you.
    3. Ask if the call center agent can read the damage estimate category summary which will be minor, major, severe.
    4. Or if it's listed in a dollar amount ask for the dollar amount of the damage estimate.
  4. If your damage assessment is not Major or Severe and you did have more damage than what FEMA inspector actually noted this is when you ask for a new inspection based on the fact no in-home inspection was completed. 
  5. Ask to schedule a full inspection to include in-home inspection.

Some of you may get some pushback on the in-home inspection due to the fact it's been more than the typical 90 day appeal time limit. You will have to simply state the fact that FEMA did not enter your home the actual damage assessment was not completed and you need a completed damage assessment for the HUD CDBG-DR grant program so you can finish your household disaster recovery. 

If you need help with this process use the form below and send me your question. 

Research Resource: