State Disputes Advocate Characterization Of RESTORE Program
An Advocate report says only 36 percent of people who applied for RESTORE 2016 flood grant money have actually received any cash, but the state says that statistic is misleading.
Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes says 90 percent of those who were eligible to receive RESTORE funds have been sent a check, and most of those who didn’t get money were not eligible.“They either did not own the home at the time of the flood, or they did not live in it, somebody else lived in it and they owned it. There were a lot of eligibility requirements and a lot of folks were not eligible.”
Forbes says if you’re eligible you’ve likely already received the cash, and the other 10 percent who are left will likely get their check soon. “Additional checks are going out to additional people, mostly folks who had the SBA duplication of benefits and that is now cleared up.”
Louisiana received 1.2 billion from the feds, 700 million of which Forbes estimates will ultimately be spent on homeowners, the rest will be spent to repair and construct affordable rental units.
After the flood, the state called for anyone impacted by the flood to fill out RESTORE paperwork. Forbes says even if most applicants ultimately weren’t eligible, 15,000 households were helped.
“It’s not that the program has been unsuccessful at getting money to people, it’s that we were hugely successful in getting people to sign up for the program to see if they were eligible.”
43,000 people applied for RESTORE funds.