Lake Charles launches 2020 hurricane home repair program

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LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Registration has begun for a new program to help low- and moderate-income Lake Charles residents repair 2020 hurricane damage to their homes, and Mayor Nic Hunter says he expects it to fill up quickly.

“We’ve already had so many people express interest in this program,” he said. “We have no doubt in our minds that the $11.3 million we have spent will quickly disappear after the registration period.”

Registration opened on Monday and will continue until 5 p.m. on May 25, US press reported.

The program uses federal, state and municipal funds to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Laura.


With grants capped at $60,000, the program can likely help at least 150 homeowners, said Mark Tizano, the city’s director of community development.

Most of the money is for landlords, but there’s $1 million for landlords charging affordable rent to low-to-middle-income residents, Hunter said.

He and Governor John Bel Edwards announced the Lake Charles Housing Rehabilitation and Recovery Program in November last year.

According to guidelines set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, applicants must be at least 62 years old, be a single parent or be disabled. The applicant’s gross household income must be equal to or less than 80% 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 due to Hurricanes Laura and Delta to register online to Restore Louisiana on www.restore.la.gov.

“We need those numbers to be solid for southwest Louisiana,” he said. “I know it’s taken a long time, but help is on the way and we need to get people to sign up.”


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