Road Home Lifts Deadlines
Program also includes those who sold homes before Road Home started
BATON ROUGE (September 5, 2008) -- Louisiana's hurricane survivors who applied
for Road Home program assistance and had until September 5 to return the paperwork
indicating whether they're going to sell or rebuild their homes can breathe a little easier.
The state has lifted its deadlines for 12,000 Road Home applicants who were facing
deadlines and extended the time frame for homeowners to make their final benefit
option selections, giving extra time for hurricane survivors to receive legal advice and
complete complicated title work or resolve other issues.
The change affects over 7,000 Road Home applicants who previously had been facing deadlines to
return documents, prove occupancy and ownership or resolve title and financial issues and 5,400 who
sold their homes before the program started.
Many hurricane survivors affected by the deadlines were elderly and low income Louisianians, said Paul
Rainwater, Executive Director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. Also, Road Home has extended its
scope to include homeowners who sold their Katrina-damaged homes before the Road Home program
"We had hoped that by offering case-by-case extensions, we could help individual applicants in the
program. Because of the extremely difficult issues facing our homeowners and because these extensions
were not always provided on a consistent basis, we determined that the fairest action to take was to give
everyone affected more time," Rainwater said.
As of July 30, there were 3,100 who had not returned a "yellow letter" (Benefit Selection Form), 1,800
who had not sent documents proving they lived in the home when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit
Louisiana; 3,000 who had not provided ownership documents; and 500 needing important documents.
The Road Home program offers homeowners three options: stay in their home and rebuild, sell to the
state and buy a new house in Louisiana, or simply sell-out to the state.
Now, there are still more than 2,615 applicants who still haven't returned the letter. This is the only
group now with a November 1, 2008. All appeal process deadlines are the same.
Other groups currently don't face deadlines. They are: 1,200 who have not provided documents proving
they occupied their homes at the time of the storms; 2,700 who have not provided ownership
documents; 900 whose files are missing other documents (like social security cards); 2,800 with legal,
title, financial and power of attorney issues, and 5,400 who sold their homes prior to the program started
and now want funding from the Road Home.
When the original Road Home plan was established in 2006, it included a provision to pay grants to
hurricane survivors who sold their homes at a loss before the start of the program, but only if there
were funds remaining after paying compensation and elevation grants.
To opt-in to the program, applicants must have owned and occupied the damaged property as their
primary residence at the time of Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005) or Hurricane Rita (September 24,
2005), must have applied before the application deadline of July 31, 2007, and must have attended their
first appointment by December 15, 2007.
Single units, double units, town homes, mobile homes and condominiums are eligible, as long as the
home is located in one of the 37 disaster-declared parishes, must have been registered for FEMA
assistance, and must meet one or more of the FEMA criteria listed in the Road Home program policies.
For Hurricane Katrina, the home must have been sold between August 30, 2005, and August 28, 2006,
and the sale must have been recorded with the parish no later than September 29, 2006, and for
Hurricane Rita, the home must have been sold between September 25, 2005, and August 28, 2006, and
the sale must have been recorded with the parish no later than September 29, 2006.
Hurricane survivors with questions should contact their Road Home representative or the Road Home
hotline at 1-888-762-3252 (TTY: 1-800-566-4224), or go to one of the last two outreach sessions to be
held in Plaquemines and Orleans parishes.
"It's about more than just a hurricane"