Despite heavy publicity, more than 20,000 households with significant damage from the 2016 flood in south Louisiana never took the first step to tap the $1.3 billion set aside for home reconstruction under the Restore Louisiana program, our media partners at The Advocate report.
The failure to fill out the initial, five-minute damage survey is expected to contribute to 44 percent fewer households than initially anticipated being able to access the recovery money, officials with the state program told the newspaper.
Higher-than-expected rates of withdrawals from the recovery program — after homeowners proceed further along in the process — and higher-than-expected numbers of homeowners who had their potential award canceled out by U.S. Small Business Administration loans, flood insurance and other grants are also contributing to the 44 percent figure, the Advocate reports.
Of the more than 20,000 households that did not fill out surveys, more than half of them were in the worst-hit parishes during the August 2016 flood: East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston, according to Restore data analyzed by The Advocate.
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