FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 10, 2008
Louisiana Recovery Authority
BATON ROUGE, La. (June 11, 2008) - The state has launched an online Rebuilding Registry to serve as a resource for Louisiana homeowners affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as part of the Road Home program, the Louisiana Recovery Authority and Office of Community Development announced today.
Developed as a part of the Road Home contract, the Rebuilding Registry is a feature of the LSU AgCenter's Home Design and Construction Portal, which provides information about the rebuilding process and helps connect homeowners with building professionals serving their area.
"Now that the majority of Road Home grants have been awarded to homeowners, it is important that we make sure they have the other, non-financial, resources necessary to rebuild their homes and their lives," said Paul Rainwater, Executive Director, Louisiana Recovery Authority.
Homeowners can access this portal through the Road Home Web site, www.road2la.org, or by going directly to http://dc.road2la.org/. This free service is provided by the state and the LSU AgCent! er, in collaboration with Tulane University and the University of New Orleans. It is designed to provide homeowners with the resources to rebuild a safer, stronger and smarter Louisiana.
The site contains fact sheets and information on a number of rebuilding topics, ranging from how to repair a damaged home or build hurricane-resistant, energy-efficient homes to the types of licenses and permits that are required before beginning any building project.
The Rebuilding Registry tool helps homeowners find licensed building professionals to assist them with their home construction projects. Through this Rebuilding Registry, homeowners can:
0. Locate professionals who work in their parish and offer the types of services they are looking for. The registry lists the professionals randomly, showing the company name, their state licenses and their primary office location.
0. Send inquiries to professionals of their choice. The homeowner's message will be sent through the registry, and will give the contractor information about their project needs. Contractors who are interested in the homeowner's project can reply through the registry, sending an electronic "business card" to the homeowner. Further contractor selection and contract negotiations take place outside the system.
This free service is a part of ICF International's Road Home contract with the state and was designed to aid Road Home applicants. The registry is not limited to these applicants and can be a valuable resource for any homeowner who is planning a building project.
"Many homeowners are frustrated as they try to find building professionals to complete repairs to their homes," said David Moore, homebuilding information specialist with the LSU AgCenter. "This is a critical service that offers them the resources they need to find licensed professionals and to develop a greater understanding of the rebuilding process," he said.
To facilitate access to the registry and other online resources, the state is offering an outreach center. Located next door to the Lindy Boggs Conference Center near UNO's Lakefront campus at the lake end of Elysian Fields, the Rebuilding Information Station (RIS) also houses literature on a number of rebuilding topics. The RIS is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.. Through the LSU AgCenter, the state also offers one-on-one or group training for non-profit agencies and others who wish to help non-Internet users take advantage of these resources.
The registry and other building information can be found on The Road Home Web site, www.road2LA.org, under the "Building Resources" section. All homeowners have access to the fact sheets and information on the site, but in order to use the registry services, homeowners will need to create an online profile that will include the location and description of the project for which contractor services are being sought.
For more information on The Road Home program, visit www.road2la.org or call 1.888.ROAD.2.LA (1.888.762.3252). TTY callers use 711 relay or 1.800.846.5277.