The Road Home Opens 10 Housing Assistance Centers Statewide; Louisiana Housing Recovery Program Underway

Aug 22, 2006, 01:00 ET from The Road Home

    BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Road Home, the largest
 housing recovery program in U.S. history, is opening 10 Housing Assistance
 Centers this week across Louisiana. Beginning this week, the program is
 taking applications from Louisiana homeowners and plans to make initial
 disbursements from its pilot program.
     The Road Home is designed to help residents of Louisiana affected by
 Hurricane Katrina or Rita get back into their homes as quickly and fairly
 as possible. Working together, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, the
 Louisiana Recovery Authority and the Office of Community Development
 created The Road Home program to afford eligible homeowners up to $150,000
 in compensation for their losses to get back into their homes. Funding for
 The Road Home program is provided by a $10.2 billion allocation from the
 Federal Government in the form of Community Development Block Grants.
     "There is nothing more important to our recovery than returning
 citizens to their homes. I fought hard for the funding to run The Road Home
 program so our homeowners can get the help they need," said Governor
 Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. "We encourage them to participate fully in the
 program."
     To craft a sound and cost-effective program, the State of Louisiana
 consulted with many audiences, from consumers to financial institutions. A
 key detail of the plan is that the state has tapped financial institutions
 to assist their customers by establishing accounts that will hold and
 disburse the grant funds.
     The State has established firm consumer protections for the program. To
 participate, lenders have agreed to follow disbursement guidelines that
 have been reviewed by the State for their effectiveness in maximizing
 homeowner awards and defending against fraud and misuse of funds.
 Participating lenders will shoulder the cost of helping the State disburse
 the funds and have agreed to waive most fees associated with
 implementation.
     More than 100,000 people initially registered for the Governor's Road
 Home program; calculations estimated that as many as 120,000 people could
 qualify for assistance. To become eligible for assistance, The Road Home
 requires a review of the homeowner's application. Once the application has
 been reviewed, homeowners will receive instructions by mail on how to
 schedule an appointment to visit a housing center.
     The program's 10 Housing Assistance Centers will serve as the places
 where eligible homeowners with scheduled appointments can speak one-one-one
 with trained housing advisors who will guide homeowners through the process
 and help them make informed decisions about their options. During a
 homeowner's initial appointment, housing advisors will collect records
 about ownership, flood and homeowners' insurance, mortgage balances and
 recovery estimates. This information and any other personal information
 will be stored at a secured data center and will be protected for privacy.
 Once the housing advisors verify the documents, homeowners will learn if
 they are considered eligible to receive financial assistance through The
 Road Home.
     Homeowners can start their applications to The Road Home by visiting
 http://www.road2LA.org or by calling 1-888-ROAD-2-LA (1-888-762-3252 or
 TTY: 1-800-566-4224). Homeowners who have already registered with The Road
 Home will receive an application in the mail to complete as part of the
 next phase of the process, but may apply online immediately.
 
 

SOURCE The Road Home
    BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Road Home, the largest
 housing recovery program in U.S. history, is opening 10 Housing Assistance
 Centers this week across Louisiana. Beginning this week, the program is
 taking applications from Louisiana homeowners and plans to make initial
 disbursements from its pilot program.
     The Road Home is designed to help residents of Louisiana affected by
 Hurricane Katrina or Rita get back into their homes as quickly and fairly
 as possible. Working together, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, the
 Louisiana Recovery Authority and the Office of Community Development
 created The Road Home program to afford eligible homeowners up to $150,000
 in compensation for their losses to get back into their homes. Funding for
 The Road Home program is provided by a $10.2 billion allocation from the
 Federal Government in the form of Community Development Block Grants.
     "There is nothing more important to our recovery than returning
 citizens to their homes. I fought hard for the funding to run The Road Home
 program so our homeowners can get the help they need," said Governor
 Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. "We encourage them to participate fully in the
 program."
     To craft a sound and cost-effective program, the State of Louisiana
 consulted with many audiences, from consumers to financial institutions. A
 key detail of the plan is that the state has tapped financial institutions
 to assist their customers by establishing accounts that will hold and
 disburse the grant funds.
     The State has established firm consumer protections for the program. To
 participate, lenders have agreed to follow disbursement guidelines that
 have been reviewed by the State for their effectiveness in maximizing
 homeowner awards and defending against fraud and misuse of funds.
 Participating lenders will shoulder the cost of helping the State disburse
 the funds and have agreed to waive most fees associated with
 implementation.
     More than 100,000 people initially registered for the Governor's Road
 Home program; calculations estimated that as many as 120,000 people could
 qualify for assistance. To become eligible for assistance, The Road Home
 requires a review of the homeowner's application. Once the application has
 been reviewed, homeowners will receive instructions by mail on how to
 schedule an appointment to visit a housing center.
     The program's 10 Housing Assistance Centers will serve as the places
 where eligible homeowners with scheduled appointments can speak one-one-one
 with trained housing advisors who will guide homeowners through the process
 and help them make informed decisions about their options. During a
 homeowner's initial appointment, housing advisors will collect records
 about ownership, flood and homeowners' insurance, mortgage balances and
 recovery estimates. This information and any other personal information
 will be stored at a secured data center and will be protected for privacy.
 Once the housing advisors verify the documents, homeowners will learn if
 they are considered eligible to receive financial assistance through The
 Road Home.
     Homeowners can start their applications to The Road Home by visiting
 http://www.road2LA.org or by calling 1-888-ROAD-2-LA (1-888-762-3252 or
 TTY: 1-800-566-4224). Homeowners who have already registered with The Road
 Home will receive an application in the mail to complete as part of the
 next phase of the process, but may apply online immediately.
 
 SOURCE The Road Home