LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES $10 MILLION FOR SECOND ROUND OF HURRICANE RECOVERY GRANTS -- 08/14/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2007, 2007
LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES $10 MILLION FOR SECOND ROUND OF HURRICANE RECOVERY GRANTS
Funding Available to Homeowners Who Applied in First Round
Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, with lobbying assistance from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has secured an additional $10 million in recovery grant funds for owners of historic Louisiana properties damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This congressional appropriation is a one-time supplement to last year's $12.5 million hurricane recovery grant program. These new funds will be administered through the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office and are available only to applicants who applied for first-round funding.
"This next round of Hurricane Recovery Grants will help people in South Louisiana rebuild their homes and help our neighborhoods recover in a meaningful way," Landrieu said. "We have a strong track record with this successful initiative, and our grant process is transparent, fair and fast. My office is ready to get this additional funding into the hands of Louisiana homeowners quickly, so that our rebuilding can move forward, " he said.
"Continued restoration of Louisiana's architectural heritage is vital to our culture and our economy," said Angele Davis, Secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "We hope to begin contacting applicants in early September to review proposed restoration projects, develop scopes of work and grant agreements and start work."
The Historic Building Recovery Grant Program is an effort to provide rapid funding for the repair and restoration of historic buildings as well as architectural items not always covered by traditional insurers and governmental programs. These grants will provide money to stabilize and make historic buildings structurally sound, restore homes to make them habitable, and repair and replace architectural elements unique to Louisiana architecture.
The first round of grant money, a provision of the 2006 Congressional Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, was awarded in February 2007. More than 2,000 people applied, 1,269 applicants were found to be eligible, 289 owners of hurricane-damaged historic properties received recovery grants ranging from $5,000 and $45,000.
Although the Lt. Governor's Office awarded $9.8 million in Hurricane Recovery Grants, 958 eligible owners of historic Louisiana properties damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were denied funding. In an effort to address the shortfall, Lt. Governor Landrieu and the National Trust lobbied Congress for additional funding and were able to secure a second appropriation of $10 million. Only the 958 eligible applicants from the first round will be considered for the new grant monies.
"In allocating this second round of funding, we believe that the integrity of the established project ranking should, and must, be honored," said Pam Breaux, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Cultural Development, who oversees the state office of Historic Preservation. "This will assure fairness to those who applied in good faith, met all the requirements but could not be funded due to the budget shortfall."
In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive technical assistance provided by a state historic preservation project officer assigned to each historic neighborhood. These officers will help the homeowner develop an appropriate scope of work, serve as a reference during all stages of contruction, and provide information on contractors, skilled crafts workers and appropriate historic building materials. Additionally, the HP officer will brief homeowners and contractors on federal guideline for restoring historic properties established by the federal Department of Interior.