Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter to announce the creation of a $11.3 million housing program that will help some Lake Charles residents recover from Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta or the May 2021 flood.
"This critical program will help some people impacted by these severe weather events repair their homes, but we are well aware that this is only a start. A large portion of CDBG funding recently allocated to the state of Louisiana for long-term recovery related to the 2020 disasters will go to address unmet housing needs, but the program announced today is a product of the state and city working together to jumpstart that process while we wait for these funds to become available,” Gov. Edwards said. “We are thrilled to be able to help families in Lake Charles, but we will not rest until we’ve received the additional funding we need to recover from the 2020 disasters and Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.”
“Affordable, sustainable housing remains our greatest need in the City of Lake Charles more than 14 months after Hurricane Laura. Today’s announcement will help some of our brethren who remain in a dire housing situation. While we continue to fight for the long term recovery assistance our community needs, we are proud to announce the City of Lake Charles Home Rehabilitation and Recovery Program today,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter.” This pool of funding from the federal, state and local levels is one way we are working outside of the box to bridge the gap for residents who need help the most. We thank HUD Secretary Fudge, President Biden, Governor Edwards, and the Louisiana Housing Corporation for their willingness to support us in our efforts to help people regain one of the most important assets, a home.”
In addition to $5.3 million in Community Development Block Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which flows through Louisiana’s Office of Community Development, the City of Lake Charles has committed $1.3 million in HOME funds and another $700,000 in CDBG. The Louisiana Housing Corporation has committed $3 million of HOME funds and $1 million in National Housing Trust Fund Program funds.
Pat Forbes, executive director of the Office of Community Development said, “We are glad to see HUD recognized that the City of Lake Charles is in dire need of assistance in order to continue its recovery from the hurricanes of 2020. This allocation will bring some relief to the most vulnerable of the City’s residents.”
"Ensuring Louisiana's communities have access to resources after natural disasters occur is critical to helping families rebuild their lives," said LHC Interim Executive Director Bradley R. Sweazy. "I am extremely proud of our network of state and federal partners whose actions have guaranteed that Lake Charles will remain viable, healthy and resilient for years to come."
The funds will be used for two programs. The COLC Home Rehabilitation and Recovery Program is intended to provide CDBG and HOME financial assistance in the form of a grant (Forgivable Deferred Loan) to eligible homeowners to rehabilitate their single family homes that sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta or the May 2021 flood.
The program is intended to address unmet needs and to assist Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) Households in the city. Financial assistance will be provided for work to bring housing into compliance with applicable codes, ordinances and standards as needed.
The City of Lake Charles Small Rental Rehabilitation Program will provide financial assistance in the form of a grant (Forgivable Deferred Loan) to eligible owners to rehabilitate their single-family rental properties that sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta or the May 2021 flood.
The program will address unmet needs and assist in the re-establishment of damaged rental housing in the City. Eligible applicants will have to maintain affordable rents to LMI households for a specified time. Only units that house LMI households will be rehabilitated under this program. This program can bring the units into compliance with applicable codes, ordinances and standards as needed.
Funds will be capped at $50,000 per household and additional details about how to apply will be provided in the coming weeks by the City of Lake Charles.