Disaster victims urged to apply with Restore Louisiana to repair, rebuild or get reimbursed

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 2:37 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 4:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - State officials are trying to get the word out that homeowners affected by the 2020 and 2021 disasters may still be able to get help.

The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program provides grant funding to eligible homeowners. It can pay for home repair, reconstruction, and reimbursement for repairs.

We know of at least one homeowner who was denied before but now is approved.

Terra Hillman of Lake Charles was turned down by Restore Louisiana and denied an appeal, but she never gave up.

“They changed it from a repair to a rebuild which is appropriate for the damages at my house,” she said. “It means everything. It means I get to fix my house.”

And while it seems like the 11th hour, there is still money available for homeowners, even reimbursement.

“Even if you’ve already done your repairs, we can reimburse for those repairs,” said Pat Forbes, Director of the State Office of Community Development.

He said in some circumstances those who received insurance money can get help.

“We certainly have examples where folks maybe have $20,000 worth of insurance and $80,000 worth of damage, and our grant can be the other $60,000,” said Forbes.

If you received insurance proceeds for specific damages, Restore won’t pay for the same damages again. Forbes said the best way to find out if you qualify is to take the online survey.

“In the not-too-distant future, we will have to end the survey. That’s why we’re asking people so urgently if they think there’s any possibility, they’re eligible, let’s fill out that survey and figure out if they could be eligible for some assistance,” said Forbes.

As for Terra, her persistence has changed everything. She advises others to never give up.

“They’re there to help you and you need help. You can stay the course,” she said.

There’s no deadline yet for when the program will end, but when it’s decided it will be announced.

To complete the survey, you will need your FEMA Registration Numbers and Hazard/Flood Insurance Provider and Policy Number (if applicable) to get started.

To access that survey, click here. If you are not able to use a computer call 866-735-2001 and there should be case managers who can take your information over the phone.