One legged amputee told by State Office of Community Development you will have no wheelchair walkway to home.
Misty Hopkins received a HUD CDBG-DR Grant for the replacement of her condemned old manufactured home. The new MHU was setup, but the location is 280 feet from any surface she can navigate with her wheelchair. Restore Louisiana says No to wheelchair path
By Murray Wennerlund published 4-10-2019 updated 2-28-2023
Make a contribution PrintADA LA Office of Community Development Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU) Floods and flash floods 1.6K views
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If you what to talk with Misty Hopkins it's best you join the Facebook Group Restore LA Program Info Exchange because Misty is profoundly deaf. She has to communicate via email or chat programs to people trying to assist her with her need of roughly 280 feet of wheelchair walkway and path. Her Facebook.Com page Misty Hopkins.
The Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program has cited Section 504 about what they are willing to pay for and what they will not pay for continuously with Misty Hopkins.
The program can submit waiver request to HUD and issue exemptions to homeowners with needs not covered by normal every day policy and procedures.
Misty has done everything right, it's the program that is making it impossible for her to roll to her front door.
By not having access to her new MHU setup and paid for by American Taxpayer Dollars is shameful on the directors of the Restore Louisiana Program and those in management over her case file.
The program via their Construction Technical Advisers (CTA's) have sent her documents explaining what the program will pay for and what it will not. They sent these documents after her home was on her property. The program inspectors knew the location of the home, they had taken pictures, soil samples as part of the HUD required environmental review and not a single person within the program advised Misty that she would need a 2 wheel drive wheelchair that was good on muddy roads to reach her home's front door. It's so frustrating for Misty, the program set up stairs for her and didn't have a any plans for paying for or building a ramp until after the MHU (Mobile Home Unit) was installed. It's been one issue after another with the program, as if the state directed by the Office of the Governor OCD-DRU completely ignored the fact Misty has only one leg.
Misty became eligible for a new MHU after her home was declared a complete loss due to the 2016 flooding in Louisiana.
Misty is only 280 feet from a new kitchen, clean floors, and a bath but the Restore Homeowners Assistance Program has forced her to live with neighbors until she can access her new home. She keeps the faith that someone within the program or a advocacy group that can make it happen will come forward.
Until that time we ask that you share and post your comments of support to Misty Hopkins on Brittany Weiss Reports Facebook Page or email them to us here at TruckAndTools.Com. We want to make sure Misty has access to her new home and others like Misty learn about the ADA 504 Standards that HUD CDBG-DR will pay for.
The main contractor hired by the State of Louisiana Office of Community Development Disaster Recovery Unit is IEM Inc. of North Carolina, who has refused to allow Misty the opportunity to appeal to the State of Louisiana OCD (HUD Grantee) Exemptions Board.
We'll keep you updated as we learn the progress of our efforts.
We want to make sure everyone that needs special assistance for ingress and egress gets noticed by state managers of the HUD CDBG-DR program. Even if Section 504 doesn't specifically use the word "Wheelchair". HUD policy references "Accessibility" which would include walkways, lifts, elevators and ramps. We want to make sure those managing your state's program know that waivers and exemptions are their for cases like this. State Grantee's can also process walkways and ramps as change orders for "Unforeseen" costs.
Below you'll find images of the dirt driveway in need of a wheelchair path to Misty's front door.
Today 4-12-2019 Misty now has her septic tank underground and her power pole has been installed. We've been told the ground is muddy like this all year. Looks like we'll have some drainage work ahead of us as well. New Pictures include Misty and her temporary ramps where she is living while she waits for news on her manufactured home access.
Update! Director of the Louisiana Community Development Disaster Assistance Unit Mr. Patrick Forbes called Mr. Wennerlund to say Misty will be taken care of. She was given gravel for the 280 feet of driveway and a concrete parking slab that is next to her new ramp built perfectly for her.
It takes effort and people to set aside profits and work the system to provide advocacy that changes one more disaster survivor life so they can start the long process of rebuilding everything they have lost without being homeless.
Thank you Misty for staying in the fight and allowing me to be part of your disaster recovery efforts.
Older images below.
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This article says more than most since hurricane Katrina. Its important to understand what happened with the HUD Grants during that period time and what HUD required states to do today. A simply fix has always been to allow for more draws than the 5 max.
I am asked often if I would do carpentry work in my area. I'm getting too slow to actually handle most of the jobs I'm asked to do. I'd like to handoff the work to a carpenter that's better than me. I'm always looking for a good carpenter helper for projects I take on. Contact me and get listed and working.
A goal for every homeowner should be to reduce your disaster debt burden for real costs of repairs and new construction after a declared disaster. This can be accomplished by having enough insurance to replace your home under any disaster classification.
From 700,000 to 2.4 million and they pick and choose what public communications they want to address. It pays well to not complete a task or contract with the state of Louisiana OCD-DRU under the direction of Patrick Forbes.
When you are navigating the federal disaster assistance agencies your first stop should be to the TruckAndTools.Com Disaster Resources. Every disaster agency uses the same process but not every disaster agency follows strict policy and guidance. Don't go into your disaster recovery with blind trust of your federal and state agencies that are leading the push to get you sheltered and out of the program.
State of Louisiana OCD-DRU sent out notices to Solution 2 Homeowners who are constructing new homes to replace their substantially damaged homes from the 2016 floods that their may not be enough funds to honor the grant agreement.
Your disaster recovery success often depends on the quality of information provided by your state workers or sub-contractors. In Louisiana we find most of the people assisting homeowners do not provide information until directly asked for information.
When federal funds for disaster relief are introduced into your state executive branch agencies for distribution to the states citizenry based on the states policy and procedure for eligibility and the states interpretation of federal agency policy.
For some households, the information I provide helps them get back in their homes. Others I've had a hand in helping them recovery from some of their disaster debt burden. In any case, when you use the information I provide and it's helpful and makes you more successful with your disaster rebuild or new construction then feel free to contribute what you can and when you can. It helps with the hours of unpaid research and reading.