BATON ROUGE: The Restore Louisiana Task Force will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 21 in House Committee Room 5 at the state Capitol. The meeting will be live-streamed on the restore.la.gov website.
In addition to considering a resolution aimed at improving disaster response throughout the country, task force members will be updated on the homeowner assistance program’s initial survey, which opened to the public on April 10. So far, more than 13,000 flood-impacted Louisiana homeowners have completed the survey. Affected homeowners who have not yet completed the survey are urged to do so by going to restore.la.gov.
Those without internet access or experiencing problems online can take the survey over the telephone at (866) 735-2001. The call center is open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
The state expects to sign a contract soon with IEM, the global consulting firm selected last week to manage the homeowner assistance program. IEM was founded in Baton Rouge and still has offices there. The state also expects to begin inviting those who completed the survey and were placed in Phase 1 to complete their applications in early May.
This past week, the state began drawing down money from the federal government to begin the homeowner assistance program, starting with initial environmental review work required by the federal government. Individual environmental reviews on Phase 1 applicants’ homes will begin this month.
All residents are encouraged to sign up for email updates through restore.la.gov. This is the quickest way to find out information as it becomes available.
Meanwhile, the task force will consider a resolution Friday that calls on the federal government to remove specific legal and regulatory hurdles that slow down recovery after disasters. Based on the magnitude of the 2016 floods and the number of disasters states have faced since 2000, the resolution would urge Congress, President Trump’s administration and all state and local governments to examine and implement ways of improving community readiness, recovery and rebuilding efforts when disaster strikes.