The Restore Louisiana Task Force approves a proposal for how to spend $1.2 billion in federal flood aid allocated by Congress. Deputy Chief of Staff for the Governor’s Office, Julie Baxter Payer, says $938 million will go towards rebuilding and repairing flooded homes.
“To help more than 36,000 homeowners low to moderate income, major to severe damage, who live or outside of flood plain,” Payer said.
This state plan must get approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Louisiana is also awaiting HUD’s approval on a $438 million package that will assist the elderly and disabled. Payer says they hope these federal dollars will get in the hands of flood victims by March or April.
“The federal process is a long one. We want to shorten it every opportunity we get. We want to see homeowners getting their assistance and rebuilding their homes, renters, small business as soon as possible,” Payer said.
Payer says once the federal government approves the state’s plan on spending the $1.6 billion in federal aid, they will pick a private company to set up the application process. She says the website Restore.La.Gov will provide information as it becomes available on how flood victims can take advantage of this assistance.
“Some of them are state contracted options. Some where homeowners would pick their own contractor and use some state financial help. We are also recommending some sort of reimbursement for those that have gone ahead and rebuilt their homes,” Payer said.