[StBernard] State Adds Outreach Session in New Orleans, Clarifies Road Home Deadlines

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Fri Aug 22 23:28:11 EDT 2008

State Adds Outreach Session in New Orleans, Clarifies Road Home Deadlines

BATON ROUGE, La. (August 22, 2008) - The state of Louisiana wants to help homeowners affected by deadlines in the Road Home program by adding an additional outreach session to assist these applicants on September 5, 2008, in New Orleans.

"We are eager to work with homeowners who are struggling to meet the requirements of the program," said Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "In order to offer individual homeowners flexibility, we have to hear from them. We need homeowners to return their forms, to come to outreach events or to call the program and let us know what their needs are."

The state has committed to giving an extension to individual homeowners who cannot meet their deadline if they can show they are working toward a resolution. For example, a homeowner who needs more time to get signatures on a power of attorney document would be granted an extension. All requests for extensions will be reviewed and approved by state staff, not by ICF International employees.

Many homeowners can take simple action to move forward in the program. More than 1,500 homeowners who must prove occupancy can do so with an electric or water bill from the month preceding the storm, which can be provided by the electric or water company, regardless of whether the homeowner owes the company money.

The state also needs homeowners who do not intend to move forward in the program to notify the state in writing so that the Road Home can move their files to inactive status.

Clarifying deadlines

Around 13,000 Road Home applicants are affected by critical program deadlines. These homeowners have been notified by letter of their deadline and which action they must take. Forms these applicants must return are included with the letters. The 2,364 applicants with active Road Home appeals are not affected by these deadlines.

September 5, 2008

Homeowners who have not returned their "Benefits Selection Forms," provided documents proving they occupied their homes, provided ownership or other documents must do so by September 5, 2008, or request an extension of the deadline from the state.

October 1, 2008

Homeowners who can schedule a closing but have not must schedule their closing by October 1, 2008. These closings must be complete by November 1, 2008. Homeowners who cannot close must explain why and request an extension by October 1, 2008.

Homeowners with title, power of attorney or other legal and financial issues must resolve these issues by October 1, 2008 or request an extension of this deadline from the state.

November 1, 2008

Around 900 homeowners affected by the October 1, 2008, deadline to schedule their closing must complete their closings by November 1, 2008. Applicants who cannot meet this deadline should request an extension from the state.

Additional New Orleans event

In addition to the August 26, 2008, event already scheduled in New Orleans, the state is adding a September 5, 2008, outreach event in the city. Both events will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the UNO Lindy Boggs Conference Center, located at 2045 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans .

The Road Home has served more than 2,800 applicants at its first seven events, with many of the applicants able to move forward because of action taken there. There are four events remaining across south Louisiana, including events in Lake Charles and Plaquemines Parish.

* For a full list of Outreach Events, visit http://www.road2la.org/homeowner/events.htm <http://www.road2la.org/homeowner/events.htm>

Homeowners with questions

Homeowners with questions about the deadlines or who need an extension of the deadlines have four options:

* Attend a Road Home outreach session and meet with Road Home counselors who will review the file and explain what action needs to be take;
* Return the form included with the letter the Road Home mailed them and either provide the information requested or indicate why they cannot meet the deadline;
* Call the Road Home hotline at 1-888-762-3252 (TTY: 1-800-566-4224);
* Call the Road Home representative that has been handling their case.


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