Louisiana's commitment to elevation, safer building practices now tops $1.5 billion
April 12, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - The state of Louisiana surpassed $402 million in direct payments to homeowners through its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, bringing total investments to help homeowners elevate and strengthen their homes to more than $1.5 billion.
Louisiana is in the midst of the largest home mitigation effort in American history, in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The state is using $650 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to offer grants of up to $100,000 for homeowners who need additional funds to complete their home elevations and reconstructions of elevated homes.
Additionally, through the Road Home program, which is funded with Community Development Block Grant dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and run by the Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit, Louisiana homeowners were able to apply for $30,000 elevation incentive grants and $7,500 individual mitigation measures grants.
To date, investments in strengthening and elevating Louisiana's homes include:
- $402,774,530 through the state Hazard Mitigation program;
- $936,918,233 in elevation grants through the Road Home program;
- $161,719,236 in individual mitigation measures payments through the Road Home program.
"Helping our citizens protect their homes from future storm loss is our top priority. So far, the state's Hazard Mitigation program has made payments to more than 9,000 homeowners across south Louisiana. We have worked diligently to put the correct policies and procedures in place to assist as many homeowners as we can in moving back into their homes and making them safer than they were before," said Craig P. Taffaro, Jr, Director of the Hazard Mitigation and Recovery Coordination.
"We intend to make the majority of the remaining advanced payments before the end of summer, which means most homeowners who haven't yet begun construction will do so in the next few months. We are also closely monitoring all construction projects to make sure they are completed by program timelines and are of the quality we expect," Taffaro said.
"The Road Home program has now committed more than $1 billion to help homeowners rebuild safer and stronger than before the 2005 hurricanes. We are confident this investment in Louisiana's homes will make our communities more resilient in the face of future disasters," said Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit Executive Director Pat Forbes.
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.