Sep. 12, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - The State of Louisiana is accepting public comments on an action plan amendment to clarify eligibility for the Soft Second and Homebuyer Assistance Pilot programs, which are funded from federal disaster Community Development Block Grant funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
To promote homeownership and expand housing opportunities for existing low and moderate income renter households, in May 2006 the state designated a small portion of the Small Rental Property Program allocation to the Soft Second Program and the Homebuyer Assistance Pilot Program. Eligible families were required to earn 80 percent or less of the area median income.
In December 2008, HUD granted a waiver for hurricanes Katrina and Rita that allows the state to provide homeowner assistance to families whose income is up to 120 percent of the AMI, as well as to provide up to 100 percent of a housing down payment.
The state proceeded to apply this waiver to the programs created in APA 24 and later amended in APA 50 related to the Soft Second and Homebuyer Assistance Pilot programs.
Through APA 55, the state intends to update the language in APA 24 and APA 50 to be consistent with the granted waiver. Since this update clarifies the state's inclusion of additional beneficiaries ranging from 81-120 percent AMI in these programs, it is considered substantial and requires public comment.
Action Plan Amendment 55 can be accessed here .
The formal public comment period for the plan begins Sept.12, 2012 and runs until Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. After accepting public comments, the state will submit the plan to the HUD for final federal approval.
Citizens, community leaders and elected officials can access the plans and submit comments online by visiting http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dractionplans.htm and opening "Action Plan Amendment 56”. A copy of the plans can be requested by calling (225) 219-9600.
Members of the public can submit comments several ways:
- Using the online form at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dractionplans.htm;
- Emailing them to email@example.com;
- Mailing them to Disaster Recovery Unit, P.O. Box 94095, 70804-9095, Attn: Janice Lovett; or
- Faxing them to the attention of Janice Lovett at (225) 219-9605.
The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.