Why did it take so long for The Road Home program to get started?
The Road Home could not get underway until the federal funding was assured. It wasn't until June 15, 2006, President Bush signed Public Law 109-234, which included $5.2 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and provided that no one state shall receive more than $4.2 billion. It was on July 11, 2006, that the Secretary of HUD announced that Louisiana will receive $4.2 billion of the $5.2 billion. This amount was the last piece required to make the program whole.
Given this funding, within two months The Road Home team will have run a fully tested pilot program, established 10 new Housing Assistance Centers with hundreds of trained personnel, and set out the procedures and data management systems to launch the largest single housing recovery program in U.S. history.
The citizens of Louisiana can be proud of what has been established in such a short period of time.
Who is eligible to apply?
Individuals meeting the following criteria are eligible to apply:
- Owned and occupied the home as the main residence at the time of the hurricane
- Home must be a single- or double-unit structure (this includes duplexes where the owner resides in one of the units)
- Home must be categorized by FEMA as having been "destroyed" or having suffered "major" or "severe" damage
- Homeowners who were uninsured, but should have carried insurance (for example, those who lived in a flood plain but did not have insurance) are eligible for the program, but they will incur a 30 percent penalty
Is eligibility affected by income?
Homeowners must meet the above mentioned criteria to be eligible for The Road Home program. A homeowner's income level does not affect their eligibility for receiving an award through the program. However, low income applicants will also be eligible for an affordable loan.
What is the application process?
- 1. Previously, eligible homeowners pre-registered for the program to be included in the Housing Registry by calling 1-888-ROAD-2-LA (1-888-762-3252) or visiting www.louisianarebuilds.info/. By pre-registering, homeowners provided contact information that enabled the program to send them the latest information. It is no longer necessary to register now that the application phase has begun.
- 2. Eligible homeowners now need to apply for The Road Home program (whether or not they pre-registered) by completing an online application at www.road2LA.org. If homeowners are unable to complete the application online, they may call 1-888-ROAD-2-LA (1-888-762-3252) to request an application by mail.
- 3. A preliminary review of the application will be conducted, and a housing professional will contact the applicant to schedule a consultation appointment at the nearest Housing Assistance Center. During these appointments, housing professionals will verify necessary documentation and assist with any questions regarding The Road Home program.
- 4. In preparation for the consultation appointments, applicants will be asked to bring documentation to prove home ownership and eligibility for receiving financial assistance through The Road Home program.
- 5. After documentation has been reviewed, damage assessed, and pre-storm value determined, eligible homeowners will learn their calculated award and can then decide their option. Throughout the process homeowners will have advice available to help them make informed financial and contractor decisions.
How long will it take to receive a scheduled consultation appointment?
The Road Home program is the largest single housing recovery program in U.S. history. Due to the high level of applications, consultation appointments will be scheduled as quickly as possible, based on the date an application was submitted.
What documentation is required to apply for assistance?
To expedite the application process, the documentation listed below should be brought to the scheduled consultation. These documents are essential to prove homeownership and eligibility for receiving financial assistance through The Road Home program. However, if you do not have all of the following, your Housing Advisor will assist you in obtaining necessary documentation:
- Photo identification
- Social Security number
- Documents that prove the ownership of your home (one or more of the following):
- Copy of title insurance policy
- Copy of your ownership or acquisition deed
- Copy of your mortgage
- Copy of your real estate property tax bill
- Copy of your mortgage payment coupon
- FEMA Claim Number and assistance documentation
- Copies of insurance policies, including proof of claims or payouts made or received for damage incurred during Hurricanes Katrina or Rita
- Information about Small Business Administration loans
Is the applicant required to appear in person at the scheduled consultation appointment?
Every application must be reviewed and confirmed by a personal visit to a Road Home Housing Assistance Center by the homeowner or owner of a small rental property. This is important to legally verify identity. If the property owner cannot attend, they should give power of attorney to someone whom they trust to represent their interests at the Housing Assistance Center.
Will transportation assistance be provided for the elderly or people that don't have cars?
Yes, at the time of scheduling the consultation appointment we will have arrangements in place with local providers to help the elderly and mobility-challenged individuals get to The Road Home Housing Assistance Center.
Where are the Homeowner Assistance Centers located?
Ten Housing Assistance Centers are located throughout the State of Louisiana. Housing Assistance Centers are located in Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, and Vermilion Parishes.
How much money can a homeowner receive?
The maximum an eligible homeowner could receive is $150,000. Most homeowners will receive less since they have already received assistance from FEMA and their insurer. Furthermore, in most cases the amount of assistance is limited by the pre-storm value of the home or the estimated cost of bringing the home back to code.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Road Home Web site at www.Road2LA.org is the main vehicle for communicating updates to the public. Please continue to visit this Web site for the most up-to-date information on The Road Home.