Senator Bill Cassidy says the feds have finally relented and will allow those who suffered damage in the 2016 floods, but received SBA loans, access to Louisiana RESTORE grant money.

Cassidy says if you make below 120 percent of the area-median-income, you will be immediately eligible for RESTORE, once the state writes some final rules.

“I’m told there is about 600 million dollars available for these families. They should be able to receive them soon, but that will be up to the state and the state will begin the process of making them whole.”

If you make above 120 percent of the area-median income, you won’t be immediately available and will need to file for a hardship waiver, but Cassidy says the barrier to receive that waiver should be set low enough to include people above that income line.

“The federal government has to approve, but the state can write the eligibility rules, and we think that the state has the ability to write these rules so that most folks in that category will be eligible for the RESOTRE Louisiana grant.”

Cassidy says the news will be weight off the backs of thousands who were saddled with significant amounts of debt in the aftermath of the flood, or who just couldn’t afford to finish repairing their homes.

“You’re still hearing of families living in conditions that are just awful, with no drywall, saddled with great debt. So this is the beginning of the end.”

President Trump signed legislation fixing the “duplication of benefits” loophole in October of 2018, but the change was challenged bureaucratically by some federal agencies.