Public invited to comment on Isaac-recovery housing program

Public invited to comment on Isaac-recovery housing program

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Plaquemines Parish leaders, along with state officials, announced details of a program that will give the public the opportunity to comment on a plan that allocates $4 million to the parish for the creation of a housing elevation program in response to Hurricane Isaac.

This partial action plan also obligates the first $1 million of those funds so Plaquemines officials can begin program activities.

As a result of Hurricane Isaac, 46% of all homeowners in Plaquemines Parish reported damages, which emergency managers say were extensive and disproportionately affected a low and moderate-income individuals and families.

Given limited resources and the identified housing needs, the state seeks to use these funds to elevate residential structures as a way to best address long-term resilience.

Administrators say the new program is necessary to address unmet housing needs in the parish due to the 2012 storm.

The Housing Elevation/HMGP Non-Federal Match Program will be a voluntary elevation program that will work in conjunction with homeowner elevation activities already taking place through the parish's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is funded by FEMA and applied to those homes located in flood-prone areas.

The program will be administered by Plaquemines Parish officials, with the state Office of Community Development's Disaster Recovery Unit and the Louisiana Housing Corporation providing oversight, guidance and technical assistance.

"By elevating their homes, these households in the most flood-prone areas of Plaquemines Parish will decrease their risk of flooding in future storms," said Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development. In a prepared statement, Forbes also explained, "This investment will allow homeowners to rebuild safer, stronger and smarter."

The funds are part of the $64.4 million in Community Development Block Grant dollars that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated to Louisiana for recovery from Hurricane Isaac.

The City of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish and St. Tammany Parish all received individual allocations from HUD. Of the $64.4 million, the state has allocated $32.7 million to St. John the Baptist Parish and $16.9 million to Plaquemines Parish for their Hurricane Isaac recovery efforts.

Citizens, community leaders and elected officials can access the plans and submit comments online by visiting

and opening, "Isaac Partial Action Plan 5".

A copy of the plan can be requested by calling (225) 219-9600.

The formal public comment period for Partial Action Plan 5 began, June 10, 2015 and runs until 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, 2015. After accepting public comments, the state will submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for final federal approval.

Members of the public can submit comments several ways:

Using the online form at

Emailing them to

Mailing them to Disaster Recovery Unit, P.O. Box 94095, 70804-9095, Attn: Janice Lovett; or

faxing them to the attention of Janice Lovett at (225) 219-9605.

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