(WAFB) - Friday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved Louisiana's final Action Plan for the second congressional appropriation of $1.2 billion in flood recovery funds.
This is not a disbursement of the $1.6 billion. Back in February, HUD approved the first Action Plan for the initial $438 million. The money has not yet been disbursed however. Before the money can be made available to the state, HUD must enter into a grant agreement with the state and establish a line of credit for use of the money. These steps must be completed before they money can be disbursed.
"This is a significant milestone in our flood recovery. While the process takes too long, this approval means that we are one step closer to actually having the funds available that Congress appropriated to the state last year. Some of the hardest work is still in front of us, including securing an additional $2 billion from Congress for a full recovery," said Governor John Bel Edwards. "I am committed to working with our congressional delegation to see that this happens, but it is more important than ever for them to only speak the facts about the status of our recovery. Purposefully sharing wrong information is hurtful to the process of bringing more aid to the people of Louisiana and is a disservice to the people of Louisiana who need help the most."
To view the approval of the second Action Plan Amendment from HUD, click here.
"It is reckless, irresponsible, and flat out wrong to suggest to homeowners that funds will be available today. Homeowners deserve better than that. Before the funds can be sent to the state, the federal government requires that a grant agreement be signed and a line of credit be established. We should expect more from members of Congress than statements intended to mislead their own constituents," said Edwards.
HUD approved the state's initial Action Plan in February, citing "historically fast Action Plan submission." That approval letter can be read here.
The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program is set to begin sometime in early April. There will be two main parts to the program. The first part will be a survey to determine when a homeowner may apply for assistance. This process is separate from registration with FEMA. The second part of the program involves the application itself.