Thursday, July 31, 2008

Louisiana Announces Critical Road Home Deadline in September

Louisiana Announces Critical Road Home Deadline in September


BATON ROUGE, La. (July 30, 2008) - Road Home applicants who have not decided whether they will rebuild or sell their homes, who have not returned necessary documents or who have not provided proof of occupancy must do so by September 5, 2008, the state of Louisiana announced Wednesday.

Affected homeowners are being notified by letters beginning this week. This deadline affects several groups of homeowners:

* 3,100 who have not completed and returned a "Benefit Selection Form," commonly called the "yellow letter;"
* 1,800 who have yet to provide documents proving they occupied their homes at the time of the storms;
* 3,000 who have yet to provide ownership documents;
* 500 whose files are missing other documents, such as social security cards.

"Though the Road Home has served more than 115,000 families since 2006, we have a few thousand who have not moved forward in the program. We want to help these homeowners take the next step toward receiving the rebuilding money they need, but we need their help to do this," said Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "Homeowners should know that while this September 5 deadline is a reality, we will have Road Home staff travelling the state hosting information meetings during the month of August to assist them with moving forward."

"We want each applicant to get the rebuilding money he or she is eligible for under the Road Home program, which is why these deadlines and this outreach is necessary. In our quest to improve customer service in the program as we move through its final year, we will be offering hands-on assistance to homeowners in the month of August to ensure that no homeowner who wants to continue to move forward is unable to do so," Rainwater said.

Each homeowner group will receive a letter outlining the action they need to complete by September 5, 2008. The largest group affected is those who have not yet notified the program of what they wish to do with their homes by returning a benefit selection form to the program. Homeowners have three options:

* Option 1 - To stay in their home and rebuild;
* Option 2 - To sell their home to the state and purchase a new home within the state of Louisiana.
* Option 3 - To sell their home to the state.

Several hundred homeowners who have not yet received their Benefit Selections Form will not be affected by this deadline. They will have a full 60 days from the time they receive their Benefit Selections Form to return it to the program and will be notified of such in a letter.

Homeowners who have not yet returned documents to the program have been notified multiple times in writing and by their Road Home representatives. Applicants with questions about which documents the program still needs from them should contact their Road Home representative or the Road Home hotline at 1-888-762-3252 (TTY: 1-800-566-4224).

In addition to the letters, the Road Home will host outreach sessions across south Louisiana during the month of August. During the sessions applicants can turn in documents, complete benefit selection forms and ask questions directly of program staff, without scheduling an appointment, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applicants should watch the newspaper for announcements of dates, locations and times for these outreach events. The Road Home will also send reminder post cards with information about outreach events.

Applicants with questions can contact the Road Home at 1-888-762-3252 (TTY: 1-800-566-4224) or go online to www.Road2La.org.

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