HUD to award $5.3M to flooded rental property owners

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Help is on the way for owners of rental homes that sustained damage in the August 2016 flood.

Baton Rouge Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regional administrator, Beth Van Duyne, awarded their first award during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The program, funded with $5.3 million from HUD, accepted applications from rental property owners to rehabilitate or rebuild apartments of seven units or less. Single family and mobile home rentals were also eligible. Priority was given to landlords who rent to lower income tenants.

Maurice Harris, a landlord, received about $43,000 through the program. Two of his properties took on water during last year's flood. While he was able to repair one, he struggled to get the other house rehabbed and ready for business.

"You depreciate your savings, your fundings, and you still got to live. Without this, you've got a real stress," he said. "So this makes it a little bit easier to move forward and rebuild these houses and get it completed a faster."

During the same news conference, HUD also announced more than $200,000 in additional funding to help combat homelessness in the parish. The Capital Area Alliance for Homelessness says there are about 400 homeless individuals in parish as of January 2017.

More information about the grant program for landlords and renters can be found here.

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