LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Registration has started for a new program to help low- and moderate-income Lake Charles residents fix 2020 hurricane damage to their homes, and Mayor Nic Hunter says he expects it to fill up fast.
“We’ve already had so many people express interest in this program,” he said. “We have no doubt in our mind that the $11.3 million we have dedicated will be gone quickly after the registration period.”
Registration opened Monday and runs through 5 p.m. May 25, the American Press reported.
The program uses federal, state and city money to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Laura.
With grants capped at $60,000, the program can probably assist at least 150 homeowners, said Mark Tizano, city director of community development.
Most of the money is for homeowners but there’s $1 million for landlords who charge an affordable rent to low- to moderate-income residents, Hunter said.
He and Gov. John Bel Edwards last November announced the Lake Charles Housing Rehabilitation and Recovery Program in November.
Under guidelines set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, applicants must either be at least 62 years old, a single parent head of household, or disabled. An applicant’s gross household income must be at 80 percent or below of the area median income.
Homes cannot be in a flood zone and must have been owned and occupied on Aug. 27, 2020, Tizano said. Mobile homes, condominiums and duplexes are not eligible.
Hunter also encouraged residents who still need housing assistance because of Hurricanes Laura and Delta to register for Restore Louisiana online at www.restore.la.gov.
“We need those numbers to be robust for Southwest Louisiana,” he said. “I know that it’s taken a long time, but help is on the way and we have to have people sign up.”