An estimated 3,800 Louisiana Flood Victims denied CDBG-DR Grants for simply being approved an SBA loan amount

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Governor Edwards is aware of Public Law 115-123 signed by congress and the president on Feb. 9, 2018 which states that individuals that declined to accept assistance from the SBA will not have the SBA approved loan amount used as a Duplication of Benefits

By Contributor published 8-12-2018 updated 8-12-2018 4 min. 21 seconds read viewed 725 times. Download PDF


Plan II 8-13-2018 Start Date:

Because of the lack of response to the "SBA declined by homeowner" issue I have no other choice but to request guidance and interpretation of Public Law 115-123 from the Louisiana Office of Attorney General. This is an effort to assist those that are being penalized for approved SBA loan amounts that the homeowner declined.

ISSUE: Feb. 9, 2018

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 H.R. 1892 pl 115-123

"...the Secretary and any grantee under this section shall not take into consideration or reduce the amount provided to any applicant for assistance from the grantee where such applicant applied for and was approved, but declined assistance related to such major declared disasters that occurred in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 from the Small Business Administration..."

The Governor told us all that the reimbursement increase was to help retirees, but he refuses to address the retirees that fall into the Public Law 115-123 posted above.

The Governor told us that the States Office of Community Development Disaster Recovery Unit is waiting on Guidance from HUD or interpretation of law from Congress. HUD tells us if their is guidance or notices they need to make public they publish it at the page I linked above.

You will notice the HUD published 2017 Events page includes the Public Law 115-123 which I referenced above. I have asked family, friends, state officials, congressional representatives and our groups members if they could reasonably interpret the law as being a law that protected homeowners from the SBA duplication if they declined to accept the assistance offered by the SBA. Only our State Officials and Congressional Representatives told me it was "complicated" as if our cognitive levels were to be judged before given an answer.

I have exhausted all avenues and have only one local state resource to ask a simple law question to.

But the question no longer is simple since it has been 6 months since the law has been passed.

Why is PL 115-123 not being addressed by the OCD-DRU Director and management?

I want to ask what legal right does the OCD-DRU and the Governor have to group the estimated 3,800 individuals and households that were approved by the SBA but declined assistance with the estimated 11,200 households that accepted the SBA assistance.

What legal right does the Governor and the OCD-DRU have to ignore the Public Law 115-123 that clearly states if a person did not accept the assistance from the SBA that the SBA approval amount will not be counted against them for additional federal assistance.

I feel the Governor and the OCD-DRU grouped all people approved by the SBA for any amount into one large group to win favor of the Senate and Congress as being a serious issue. I feel the Governor and the OCD-DRU is willing to let 3,800 Louisiana Citizens suffer and receive no federal grants from the CDBG-DR Grant program just to make a point.

= LETTER TO Attorney General Jeff Landry =

Dear Attorney General Jeff Landry and the Louisiana Department of Justice.

Governor Edwards is aware of Public Law 115-123 signed by congress and the president on Feb. 9, 2018 which states that individuals that declined to accept assistance from the SBA will not have the SBA approved loan amount used as a Duplication of Benefits.

It is estimated that 3,800 (according to Gov. Edwards office) Louisiana households are being penalized for the amount of an approved loan that was not taken or drawn on.

The HR 1892 Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was the bill that included Public Law 115-123:

"That with respect to any such duplication of benefits, the Secretary and any grantee under this section shall not take into consideration or reduce the amount provided to any applicant for assistance from the grantee where such applicant applied for and was approved, but declined assistance related to such major declared disasters that occurred in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 from the Small Business Administration under section 7(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(b)):"

Link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1892/text

Is it within the legal scope of the state of Louisiana Office of the Governor and / or the scope of the Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit to ignore the PL 115-123 that would assist more than an estimated 3,800 Louisiana households and flood victims?

Thank you for your time.

Murray Wennerlund

= End LETTER TO Attorney General Jeff Landry =

If you would like to be part of this letter I will send you a copy.

If you want to be mentioned I will simply PM me requesting I add your name to the letters footer.

I will send you a final copy before I send it to the state.

I feel this issue of the 3,800 has gone on long enough for those that never received a dime from the SBA to be penalized when law states they should not be.

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