What is Restore Louisiana?
Restore Louisiana is dedicated to helping homeowners recover from federally declared disasters. The program is administered by the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through federal appropriations of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. Restore Louisiana was initially established to assist homeowners impacted by the March and August 2016 Floods and has now expanded to include homeowners impacted by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Ida and the May 2021 Severe Storm.
Who can receive assistance from Restore Louisiana?
If you owned your home and occupied it as a primary residence at the time of the disaster, have maintained ownership of the home since the disaster, and it sustained FEMA IA damages of $3,000 or greater for repairs as the result of Hurricanes Laura, Delta, or Ida or May 2021 disaster events as determined by FEMA, you may be phased for assistance from Restore Louisiana.
The Restore Louisiana program survey deadline was August 1, 2023. Homeowners who did not submit a survey by the deadline may not be considered for program assistance. If you have submitted a survey, the program will provide text and email updates regarding application availability and any next steps required.
My home was damaged by a disaster in 2020–2021. Am I eligible for assistance?
If you owned your home and occupied it as a primary residence at the time of the disaster; have maintained ownership of the home since the disaster; and received a FEMA IA determination for repairs greater than $3,000 as the result of Hurricanes Laura, Delta or Ida or the May 2021 Severe Storms, you may qualify for assistance.
Note: The Restore Louisiana program survey deadline was August 1, 2023. Homeowners who did not submit a survey by the deadline may not be considered for program assistance. If you have submitted a survey, the program will provide text and email updates regarding application availability and any next steps required.
I applied for FEMA assistance. Am I already signed up for Restore Louisiana?
No. Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), a volunteer agency, insurance, etc. is separate from Restore Louisiana.
Completing the program survey is the first step in applying for Restore Louisiana assistance. Please note: the survey deadline was August 1, 2023. Homeowners who did not submit a survey by the deadline may not be considered for program assistance.
How is Restore Louisiana funded?
Restore Louisiana is funded through federal CDBG-DR funds that HUD allocated to Louisiana. In October 2021, HUD allocated $600 million for all recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
On March 22, 2022, a second allocation was announced, providing an additional $450 million for Hurricanes Laura and Delta recovery, bringing the total allocation for these storms to more than $1 billion. HUD also announced an allocation of $1.27 billion for Hurricane Ida. A portion of these funds will be dedicated to the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program.
HUD allocated the $800 million in CDBG-DR funds to Louisiana as part of the Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023, which invests a total of $2 billion for CDBG-DR programs to aid the long-term housing, infrastructure, and economic recovery needs of communities impacted by disasters in 2021 and 2022.
When added to HUD’s previous allocation of $1.27 for Hurricane Ida and the May 2021 Severe Storms, this new allocation brings the total recovery funding available for 2021 disasters to over $2 billion. Joined with the existing $1 billion in allocated funding for Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Louisiana will receive more than $3 billion in disaster recovery funding for all eligible 2020-21 storms.
Will funds be available to elevate my home?
Elevations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Elevations for storm-damaged homes will be considered in the following circumstances:
Properties located within the floodplain that are required to be elevated by local ordinance and the local code enforcement officials’ determination that a property is substantially damaged or will be substantially improved; or
Properties outside of the floodplain which are required to be elevated by local ordinance as part of a reconstruction.
If local code, ordinance or code enforcement official requires elevation of a hurricane-damaged home and that home has a slab-on-grade foundation, the only option for assistance under the Program will be reconstruction with elevation. The Program will not fund elevation of slab-on-grade structures.
Please note that if the home is located within the 100-year flood zone, the homeowner is responsible for elevating the home such that the lowest habitable floor is the highest of any of the following:
2 feet above BFE
2 feet above ABFE
2 feet above preliminary maps or studies provided by FEMA, or local municipality requirement
Please note that 24 CFR Part 55 requires HUD and Responsible Entities to rely on floodplain maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to evaluate flood risks and impacts. When FEMA provides interim flood hazard data, such as Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFE) or preliminary maps and studies, the program shall use the best available data to determine elevation height requirement. For more information about elevation requirements, see the program policy manual.
Does the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program provide assistance to homeowners who need to demolish and reconstruct their hurricane-damaged home?
The program does provide a reconstruction option for homeowners to demolish their storm-damaged home and construct a new residential structure if any of the following are true:
The storm-damaged home was demolished or unsafe to enter at the time of the damage assessment
They received a condemnation letter or substantial damage letter from their local jurisdiction
The relative percentage of the program repair estimate was greater than or equal to 80% of the reconstruction estimate
What are the options for making repairs or reconstructing site-built homes?
During the application process, you can choose your solution based on your progress in the rebuilding process and your capacity to complete the work. Program staff will provide guidance to homeowners on the requirements for each solution. For an overview of the process, see the Homeowner Journey Guide or Choosing Your Solutions video.
Solution 1: Program-Managed. The Program manages and completes the construction process on behalf of homeowners. The Program’s contractors will repair or reconstruct damaged properties. Homeowners enter into grant agreements with the state. They do not select contractors and do not do business directly with the contractor. For more information about the Reconstruction process, see Solution 1 Reconstruction: Things you Need to Know.
Solution 2: Homeowner-Managed. Homeowners may choose to manage their own repair or reconstruction work. Under this option, a homeowner chooses to hire a Louisiana-licensed residential contractor or registered home improvement contractor, or they can self-manage repairs. While the Program provides funding based on economy-grade materials and finishes, under this option, the homeowner may select higher grade materials and finishes and pay the difference in price. Homeowners also enter into a grant agreement with the state in order to receive assistance through the Program, and the Program monitors the work. For more information, view the Tips for Hiring a Contractor guide.
Solution 3: Reimbursement. Homeowners who have completed partial or full repairs before applying to the Program may qualify for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred before the application process if applicable.
What is a lead-based paint assessment?
A lead-based paint assessment is required for homes constructed before 1978. If your home was selected for a lead-based paint assessment, it is due to the age of your home or the location of your home and the proximity to older structures or roads based on satellite imagery.
A lead-based paint assessment is one part of the Homeowner Assistance Program process which involves having a Restore Louisiana lead-based paint assessor come to your home to inspect and test your paint, take samples of the soil outside and sample the dust on floors and windowsills inside. The assessor will need to inspect both the interior and exterior of the home. Dust and soil samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis; after this a report is generated, reviewed and emailed to you in approximately two weeks or less.
If lead-based paint is detected, the Program will determine what steps are necessary to remove any potential hazard. The treatment options available to you are dependent on the location and quantity of the lead-based paint and will be detailed in your Estimated Cost of Repair (ECR) as a line item in the detailed Scope of Work (SOW) provided as part of your grant award.
Please visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s webpage at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes/healthyhomes/lead or the Environmental Protection Agency’s webpage at https://www.epa.gov/lead for more information about the hazards associated with lead-based paint. The EPA pamphlet link is provided to you as part of your application submission.
Is there a deadline to complete the survey?
The Restore Louisiana program survey deadline was August 1, 2023. Homeowners who did not submit a survey by the deadline may not be considered for program assistance.
What is the next step after I complete the survey?
If you completed the program survey and meet program qualifications, you will be invited to begin an application.
Before being invited to begin the application, the program will first conduct an environmental review of your property. The environmental review process may take up to 30 days to finalize. After the program completes an environmental review of your property, you will be invited to begin your application via email and text message.
What is an environmental review?
The environmental review is the process of reviewing a project and its potential environmental impact to determine whether it meets federal, state, and local environmental standards. This process is required by federal regulation to ensure that the proposed project does not negatively impact the environment and our citizens.
An environmental review must be completed prior to home construction. The process starts with an inspection of the flood damaged property where an inspector observes the exterior of the home and the surrounding environment. Using photographs, aerial maps, and public databases to assess each property, our inspectors may also consult with state and federal agencies such as the State Historic Preservation Office or the Environmental Protection Agency. Each property is evaluated for characteristics such as whether the property is impacted by or impacts floodplains, historical districts, aquifers, natural and scenic state and federal streams, toxic sites such as landfills, etc. While passing the environmental review is not a guarantee of a grant award, its successful completion is a critical first step.
The environmental review is separate and distinct from the damage assessment inspection. The environmental review is conducted without an appointment and from the road or right-of-way. Inspectors do not need to enter onto the property, unless the property is secluded on a private road or is not viewable from the right-of-way. The damage assessment inspection will occur later in the process and will require an appointment and access to the interior of your property.
When does an environmental review occur?
The program conducts an environmental review after the survey completion and prior to homeowner application to the program. Environmental inspectors do not enter the inside of a property. These reviews are conducted from the right of way and no appointment is scheduled with the homeowner. Performing this work from the right of way allows us to move through this federal requirement for environmental review in the most efficient manner. A program inspector will take photographs of the property and note any visible environmental conditions. All inspectors will wear a collared shirt with the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program logo and carry an identification badge.
What is the difference between an environmental review and a damage assessment?
An environmental review is completed before an applicant is invited to begin the program application and is the process of the program reviewing a project and its potential environment impact to determine whether it meets federal, state and local environmental standards. Homeowners do not have to schedule an appointment for these site visits, nor is it necessary for them to be present. Environmental auditors will conduct the review from the public right-of-way and do not enter the inside of the property.
A damage assessment occurs later in the program process after a homeowner has submitted their application. At this point in the process, the program will schedule an appointment for inspectors to access the interior of the property. During a damage assessment, inspectors will use industry standard software to inspect work already completed and to determine a scope of work for prospective repairs needed to complete the home.
FEMA, SBA & Insurance
Who can I contact if I have a question about my FEMA damage threshold, damage assessment or to submit an appeal regarding my FEMA determination?
To contact FEMA, please call 1-800-621-3362 or visit fema.gov/assistance/individual/after-applying/appeals.
Who can I contact if I have questions about my SBA loan?
To confirm receipt of payment toward your SBA loan, or for questions regarding the remittance, refunds or re-amortizations of an SBA loan, please reach out to the point of contact indicated on your SBA loan documentation.
What if my insurance company declared bankruptcy?
Homeowners who incurred damage from 2020-21 disaster events and have filed a claim with a company in bankruptcy will need to file a claim with the Louisiana Insurance Guarantee Association (LIGA). To access the claim form, click here. All verified claims will be then be paid through LIGA.
Contacting Restore Louisiana
How can I contact the program?
To speak with a program representative, please call 866-735-2001 between Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays).
How does the Restore Louisiana Program ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency?
Restore Louisiana strives to ensure the information regarding services provided by the program is accessible in a variety of formats and languages. The website was built to adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Content is accessible via semantic code to screen readers for visitors with visual impairments, legible to color-blind users, and navigable via a keyboard for those with mobility challenges. The website uses the Google Translate tool to provide instant translation of website content into any language selected by visitors. Also, website browsers will detect when the website's language doesn't match the user's preferred language in their settings and immediately offer to translate.
Disability accommodations and/or translation services can be requested for public meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translations services are available when calling the Program call center at 1-866-735-2001.
General Program Information
My home was damaged by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, or Ida or the May 2021 Severe Storms, but I sold it. Can I still receive assistance?
No. To potentially receive assistance from Restore Louisiana, applicants must have owned their homes at the time of the disaster and must maintain ownership throughout their participation in the program. If you sold, otherwise transferred, or received notice of default or seizure related to taxes, mortgage, or title prior to completing participation in the program, you cannot receive assistance from the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program at this time.
My rental home was damaged by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, or Ida or the May 2021 Severe Storms. Can I still receive assistance?
No. To potentially receive assistance from Restore Louisiana, applicants must own their home and must have occupied the home as a primary residence at the time of the disaster. If you own a home damaged by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, or Ida or May 2021 disaster events, but rented it to a tenant at the time of the disaster, or if you were a tenant in a home damaged by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, or Ida, you cannot receive assistance from Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program at this time due to limited federal funding.
Can Restore Louisiana assist me with the contents of my home?
No. Restore Louisiana is funded through federal CDBG-DR funds that HUD allocated to Louisiana—a condition of this funding is that it may only be used to assist homeowners with repairing or replacing the structure of their damaged homes. Restore Louisiana cannot use this funding to assist homeowners with replacing the contents of their damaged homes.
What was the criteria to be phased for assistance?
To be placed in a phase, homeowners must have met the following criteria:
Owned and occupied the damaged home as primary residence at the time of disaster and still own the damaged home
Meet low-to-moderate income qualifications
FEMA Individual Assistance Program determined a structural loss of $3,000 or greater*
Must not have received or expect to receive structural insurance payments greater than $50,000
In addition, households in FEMA Direct Housing Programs are prioritized for phasing as well
*The program phased homeowners who met the following criteria as reported by FEMA IA:
FEMA inspected verified loss (FVL) or FEMA inspected verified loss of real property (RP__FVL) of $3,000 or greater, or
FEMA inspected verified loss (FVL) of personal property damage of $3,500 or greater, or
At least one foot of FEMA inspected flooding on the first floor, or
FEMA inspected verified loss repair and replacement assistance of $3,000 or greater
What is AMI?
AMI is area median incomea set of income limits determined by HUD that is based on the average income for your parish and the number of people in your household. To see examples of AMI for parishes and households in Louisiana parishes, see this chart.
I paid a contractor, but he/she never did the work. What should I do?
If you haven’t already done so, please contact the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors about the issue; you can file a complaint online here. The Licensing Board also has a number of helpful resources for consumers, which you can find on their Consumer Guide page. To take legal action against the contractor, you will need to contact a private attorney or legal aid organization.
As it relates to the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program, you are encouraged to have the following documents in your records for future reference:
Filed complaint with Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors
Filed fraud report with attorney general’s office (more information here)
Whenever you hire contractors, be sure to keep receipts, work orders and records of payment for future reference.
Does the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program provide assistance with the removal of trees?
No, the removal of trees from privately owned land is not an approved use of federal disaster assistance funds. The Program can only provide assistance in repairing or reconstructing your primary residence and cannot repair damage to sheds, fences or detached garages.
If 80% of the funds must go to LMI families, will other applicants be eligible for assistance once that level has been met?
Please know that the program should have adequate funding to address the needs of all homeowners in Phases 1-6, and if you are a homeowner in one of these program phases, you should be able to receive a grant award in accordance with the phase/tier you are eligible for. The program has data available that allowed us to adequately budget for serving the needs of LMI homeowners, along with the needs of homeowners in all other phases.
If my current income has dropped substantially from what it was prior to the storm, will that be given any consideration?
Yes, you will be able to provide your 2021 tax return or other potential information during the program application period to demonstrate a recent reduction in income.
How does the program calculate my Repair or Reimbursement Estimate?
The Program will conduct a damage assessment as part of the application process which will assess the value of both the prospective work remaining to complete repair, reconstruction, or replacement of the home, and the value of work already completed. This will be a thorough inspection of the inside and outside of your home and homeowners must be present for the inspection.
The Program’s inspector will use program-approved estimating software and pricelists to provide estimates of the value of both remaining work and eligible completed repairs. The Program Pricing List can be found here.
Please note, pricing is subject to change based upon program review and approval and at the program’s discretion.
How do I learn more about the FORTIFIED building standards?
The program’s Solution 1 reconstruction floor plans adhere to FORTIFIED Gold Standards which reinforce the areas of your home that conventional construction may leave susceptible to damage from high winds and wind-driven rain.
For Solution 2, FORTIFIED Roof or FORTIFIED Gold building standards can be utilized. Homeowners must provide proof of successful inspections from FORTIFIED certified inspectors and a completion certificate to be eligible to receive an additional price per SF allowance for building to the FORTIFIED standard. See the helpful reconstruction checklist for more information about FORTIFIED standards.
Does the Restore Louisiana Program provide rental assistance or temporary housing assistance?
If you need immediate rental assistance, you can contact the Louisiana Housing Corporation at 888.454.2001, who may be able to provide assistance. For FEMA-related questions, please call FEMA at 800.621.3362, and they may be able to explain their processes for temporary housing.
The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program will provide interim housing assistance which is intended for low-to-moderate income homeowners who meet certain criteria to receive assistance for temporary short-term lodging or rentals while their home is being rehabilitated or reconstructed as a Solution 1 project. The program will provide payments directly to the landlord or lessor of the temporary rental unit on behalf of the applicant. To qualify for this interim housing assistance, applicants:
Must be LMI (at or below 80% AMI)
Must be a Restore Louisiana Program applicant with an executed Solution 1 grant agreement in an active construction status
And meet one of the follow circumstances:
Require housing due to the expiration of the term of the FEMA -provided MHU, without a housing plan after the FEMA MHU deadline while the Solution 1 contractor repairs their damaged home.
Require housing due to other circumstances of hardship, as approved on a case-by-case basis, including temporary displacement that requires that the damaged home be vacated for safety and other reasonable measures to expeditiously complete the repairs or reconstruction by the Solution 1 contractor.
I’m a contractor. How can I learn more about the rules and requirements for working with a homeowner participating in the Restore Louisiana Program?
Homeowners with remaining repairs can select and hire a Louisiana licensed contractor under the Solution 2 option. Homeowners are allowed to select their own contractor licensed by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors to conduct their repairs or reconstruction. The Program collects proof of workers compensation and general liability, along with a W-9 and an executed contract from the homeowner-chosen contractor. For more information about how the program works, see this helpful guide for contractors.
What is a Duplication of Benefit (DOB)?
When calculating a homeowner’s grant award, the program will deduct any duplication of benefits the homeowner may have received. A Duplication of Benefit (DOB) is any financial assistance received for the same purpose from another program, insurance, or any other source. Examples of DOB include private or NFIP insurance (not for contents), FEMA Individual Assistance for home repairs, SBA loans, and charitable donations of building supplies or volunteer labor.
What assistance is available if I do not meet program phasing criteria?
Information on other available resources can be found here.
What is the Solution 4 buyout option?
Homeowners impacted by Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Ida and the May 2021 Severe Storms who completed the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program survey and were deemed ineligible for federal repair assistance due to being in a floodway or V-zone may be invited to participate in the Solution 4 voluntary buyout option. Solution 4 buyouts are designed to move residents out of harm's way as well as used as a means to help facilitate the natural watershed by improving local drainage and the resilience of impacted communities.
Solution 4 gives homeowners the flexibility to choose the best relocation option for their individual situation through two possible funding opportunities:
Low-to-Moderate Safe Housing Incentive (LMHI)