Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the inclusion of an additional $400 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund government operations through Oct. 1, 2017. The funding will be allocated to Louisiana, California, West Virginia and North Carolina. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will determine the allocations per state at a later date.
“Louisiana’s recovery from the historic floods in March and August is far from complete, but we are well on our way," said Gov. John Bel Edwards. "While we are extremely grateful for Congress’ support of this additional funding, our unmet needs, according to HUD’s data, are still more than $1 billion for homeowners alone. I want to thank the entire Louisiana congressional delegation for supporting the state’s request for funding. We will continue to work with them, as well as leaders in Congress, to identify additional opportunities for funding to ensure our state fully recovers.”
Last week, Gov. Edwards joined governors from Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia and North Carolina in asking Congress to include additional funding for disasters. Since the August floods, Gov. Edwards has made eight trips to Washington, D.C. advocating for disaster funding. Prior to this appropriation, Congress approved more than $1.6 billion for the state’s flood recovery program. Those funds were made available to the state on April 10 – two months ahead of HUD’s initial timeline. More than 17,000 homeowners have completed the survey to determine eligibility for the recovery program, the first step in the process. The survey is available at restore.la.gov.
In May, the state will begin initial outreach with landlords and developers on plans for restoring the state’s supply of affordable housing for renters, who were also severely impacted by the flooding. The Restore Louisiana Neighborhood Landlord Rental Program will make $36 million available in loans for building and repairing rental homes and apartments.
Later next month, lenders taking part in the Restore Louisiana Small Business Program will begin accepting applications from flood-impacted local businesses. The $51.2 million program will make interest-free loans between $20,000 and $50,000 to eligible businesses. If borrowers meet all terms and repayment agreements, 20 percent of their loans will be forgiven.