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By Murray Wennerlund published 4-10-2019 updated 2-28-2023
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.