BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC), in partnership with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), has activated the Louisiana Disaster Housing Task Force to help Louisiana residents displaced by the 2016 flood event find access to housing.
Information for Displaced Residents
Although the recovery process for the 2016 flood is in its early stages, the task force has already begun coordinating strategies and programs to help find suitable housing for those displaced by the storms. The first step in this recovery is for displaced residents to follow FEMA guidelines and instructions for applying for disaster assistance. Residents can apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Flood victims are also encouraged to pre-register for DNSAP benefits at www.dcfs.la.gov/preregister.
Information for Landlords
Secondly, the task force is working with LAHousingSearch.org to locate housing for those displaced by the flood. Property managers with vacancies should log in to www.LAHousingSearch.org and update their current property listings or call toll-free and have listings updated for them at 1-877-428-8844. Management companies and landlords will also be able to list any new vacancies on the website and are asked to consider offering short-term lease options as well as permanent housing.
The task force's most immediate need is for landlords to communicate available properties so that LAHousingSearch can be updated daily with the most updated vacancies available statewide. Displaced residents will be able to search the LAHousingSearch website to look for affordable rental vacancies, with more openings coming available as new listings are added.
"LAHousingSearch.org is the official affordable housing site for recovery efforts and has provided relief throughout the state after numerous disasters for over 10 years." said Buddy Spillers, Chairman of the LHC Board of Directors. "We're calling on property owners and landlords who have an affordable home or apartment to rent to create a listing on the site free of charge.
"It is critical to get single and multi-family properties listed and/or updated on LAHousingSearch.org so displaced Louisianans can begin to relocate as necessary. We strongly encourage short-term lease options and accessible features be listed in the description where applicable."
LAHousingSearch.org is supported by a toll-free, bi-lingual call center M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. at 1-877-428-8844. Individuals and families looking for housing will be able to check the site for temporary and more permanent options. Searches can also be done by price range and description (such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms).
In addition to these initial efforts, the LHC and the Disaster Housing Task Force will continue to work with state agency partners, local non-profit organizations, community groups and FEMA to monitor housing vacancies statewide and work to connect landlords and tenants. The corporation will also continue to operate programs to assist residents needing more permanent housing solutions such as:
- Tenant Based Rental Assistance: temporary housing assistance providing 12 to 36 months of rental assistance for emergency housing as a result of a declared event
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): utility assistance for low-income families
- Market Rate GNMA and Preferred Conventional mortgage programs offering 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with up to 4% down payment and closing cost assistance
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit: incentive that increases the availability of low income rental housing
- HOME Investment Partnerships Program: financing to private developers, non-profit groups and community organizations to provide affordable rental housing.
About the LHC
The Mission of the Louisiana Housing Corporation is to ensure that every Louisiana resident is granted an opportunity to obtain safe, affordable, energy efficient housing. Each day this ongoing challenge is met by a dedicated staff of professionals who allocate federal and state funds to help low-to-moderate income citizens make their housing dreams a reality.
About the Louisiana Disaster Housing Task Force
The role of the Louisiana Disaster Housing Task Force is to ensure that households have access to safe and sanitary housing as a result of natural or man-made disasters. Members are responsible for the coordination of federal, state and local entities' housing resources and programs.
The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) was created by Act 408 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session. The LHC administers federal and state funds through programs designed to advance the development of energy efficient and affordable housing for low and and moderate income families.