Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards requested the Restore Task Force expand the reimbursement grant award for eligible homeowners participating in the Restore Homeowner Assistance Program to 100 percent. Currently, the reimbursement amount is 50 percent. Task Force members will discuss and vote on the proposed increase during their meeting on Friday, July 13.
 
“This program change would result in an additional $110 million in reimbursement grant funds being made available to more than 10,000 eligible homeowners, said Gov. Edwards.
 
“It has always been our goal to provide as much assistance as possible to homeowners who are stretching their hard-earned paychecks and are tapping into their savings to recover from the devastating floods of March and August 2016. Increasing the reimbursement amount will help ease the burdens of thousands. As the program survey deadline of July 20, 2018 quickly approaches, we now have a more comprehensive understanding of the needs of flood-affected homeowners across the state. I know members of the task force are committed to helping homeowners rebuild and understand how this expansion will provide much needed additional assistance.”
 
The Office of Community Development initially structured the reimbursement portion of the program to meet requirements by the U.S. Department Housing of Urban Development (HUD) that mandated the limited amount of funding made available for the Restore program be prioritized to assist homeowners with the greatest unmet needs.  Originally, Phases 1-2- which included low-to-moderate income (LMI) households with either a homeowner age 62 or older or a household member with a disability – allowed for 100 percent of their repair award and 100 percent of their reimbursement award. Homeowners in Phases 3-6  could receive between 50-100 percent of their repair award and 25 percent of their reimbursement award.  During the Restore Louisiana Task Force meeting on August 18, 2017, members approved a similar request by Gov. Edwards to increase the tiered award structure for all homeowners in Phases 3-6 to 100 percent of the repair award and 50 percent of their reimbursement award.   
 
If the Task Force recommends this latest expansion request, it must then be submitted to HUD for final approval. Upon HUD’s approval, the program will immediately begin working to update grant calculations and contact all eligible applicants, including those homeowners who have already executed their grant agreements.
 
To date, over 52,000 homeowners have completed the program survey and 37,000 homeowners have submitted formal applications. More than 33,000 applications have been processed and grant determinations made, and 12,750 eligible homeowners have been offered grant awards totaling more than $342 million.
 
Friday, July 20, 2018, is the deadline for homeowners who have not completed the initial survey to do so in order to participate in the Restore Program. The survey is available online at restore.la.gov or homeowners may call 1-866-735-2001 Monday-Friday.