Did Road Home sue you?

Was the suit about an Elevation Grant?

Is the suit still active, or do you still owe money?

If the State of Louisiana, Office of Community Development (OCD) sued you after getting up to $30,000 from Road Home to elevate your home, there is important news.

On February 16, 2023, the State, OCD, and federal agency (HUD) announced that all lawsuits to return these funds would be dropped.  Soon you or your attorney should be notified by OCD about this news.

The State will stop all collection on these Road Home grants.  If a lien was placed on your property because of the suit, the State will release and remove it.

You will not get back any money you already paid.  But if you are on a monthly repayment plan, you can stop making payments now.

You can learn more:



For Immediate Release, February 15, 2023


Laura Tuggle, ltuggle@slls.org, 504.913.6617


Over 60 Nonprofit Groups Call On FEMA to Extend the February Deadline for Hurricane Ida Disaster Assistance and Appeals

236,000+ Louisiana households are awaiting FEMA aid decisions as deadline looms

NEW ORLEANS — The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) will stop accepting appeals and providing financial assistance for Hurricane Ida on Feb. 28, 2023, despite the fact that, according to FEMA’s own records, there is still no decision on over 236,000 Louisianan household’s applications for assistance.

FEMA has not issued a press release or any public notification of the looming deadline.

In response, over 60 voluntary, faith-based, community, philanthropic and national advocacy organizations have issued letters to President Biden, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, the Louisiana Congressional Delegation and Governor John Bel Edwards, requesting an extension of the deadline to allow disaster-affected households time to submit appeals to FEMA.

“Hurricane Ida was the fifth costliest hurricane in U.S. history, and Louisianans continue to struggle to recover,” said Laura Tuggle, Executive Director of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. “As nonprofits, we are on the ground, working directly with people in affected communities. We are partners that stand behind FEMA’s equity goals and are uniquely positioned to help identify the invisible roadblocks that Louisianans are experiencing as they try to access assistance. Due to our intimate knowledge of the barriers to recovery, we know nothing will go further to producing equitable outcomes among the people of our state than an extension of the IHP period of assistance and appeals deadline.”

Louisianans have faced significant barriers to applying for assistance since Hurricane Ida for a variety of reasons, including:

  • In 2021, Louisiana’s poverty rate was the highest in the nation at 19.65%.
  • The remote, rural areas that Hurricane Ida hit have low educational attainment levels.
  • FEMA relies heavily on written correspondence, which directly impacts Louisianans’ ability to access disaster assistance in a state with a literacy rate of 84% in 2023.
  • Providing the necessary FEMA documentation requires adults to be technology-proficient in areas without broadband access, which prevents rural residents, older adults, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency, low-income households and others - from acting in their own best interest.
  • Survivors must fax information to National Processing Service Centers or upload it into FEMA’s antiquated NEMIS system, which makes documents illegible due to excessive pixelization. This triggers repeated requests for documents that survivors think they have submitted (which were legible on their end).
  • Homeownership documentation was destroyed in the storm or is lacking due to heirship property issues which take time and legal assistance to resolve.
  • There is a severe lack of contractors to provide the estimates that are required for homeowners to submit appeals.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic prevented FEMA inspectors from entering people's homes, resulting in inaccurate damage assessments and the need for a second inspection.
  • The closure of Disaster Recovery Centers in Louisiana on February 25, 2022, made it more difficult for survivors to get the help they needed when applying for assistance.
  • Many homeowners still have unresolved insurance claims and cannot submit settlement documentation and declaration pages to receive FEMA awards.
  • The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program recently began processing applications. To be eligible, applicants must have received either $8,000 in home repair funds or $3,500 in personal property assistance from FEMA.

Because FEMA has not provided the public with formal written notice of the deadline through the media, Louisianans are not ready for the cessation of IHP financial assistance or the loss of their ability to appeal previous FEMA decisions denying them assistance. Without a deadline extension, Hurricane Ida survivors will experience growing levels of financial instability, making Louisiana and its residents even more vulnerable to future storms.

By comparison, on Jan. 24, 2023, FEMA published a press release identifying the March 10, 2023, deadline for Hurricane Ida survivors in Pennsylvania.

A 90-day extension beyond the Feb. 28, 2023 deadline would allow survivors time to obtain FEMA resources which are required to be eligible for the Restore Louisiana Program. An inability to appeal FEMA decisions not only prevents access to FEMA assistance but will also bar access to the state’s housing recovery program.

We are grateful the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) shares our common desire to change negative recovery outcomes that disproportionately affect underserved communities. We are aware that GOHSEP requested the exact same extension of FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) after Hurricane Laura, and were met with a denial of their request. We stand with our state officials in support of their equity goals and we seek a different outcome for Ida’s request - one that extends the deadline by at least 90 days. The enormous number of people in Louisiana whose needs are still unmet must be everyone’s greatest priority.

“This is a life or death situation for Louisiana’s people,” added Tuggle. “FEMA has an opportunity to make good on its equity goals by extending the February 28 deadline and providing a notification period before the deadline to account for the unique challenges of our state’s Hurricane Ida survivors.”

See the full list of partner signatories here.


About Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) fights for fairness in the justice system. It provides free, civil legal aid to low-income people in six offices, across 22 parishes in southeast Louisiana. Our six offices are located in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, and New Orleans. Our mission is to achieve justice for low-income people in Louisiana by enforcing and defending their legal rights through free legal representation, advocacy, and community education. For more information about SLLS, visit www.slls.org and follow us on Facebook (@SLLShelps).

“Lawyers have a license to practice law, a monopoly on certain services. But for that privilege and status, lawyers have an obligation to provide legal services to those without the wherewithal to pay, to respond to needs outside themselves, to help repair tears in their communities.” – U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 2014)

Are you an attorney (either currently practicing or retired) in East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St James, St John, or West Feliciana?  Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) would like to speak with you about opportunities to volunteer and/or create a partnership with you to bring legal services to those who need it most.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) fights for fairness for vulnerable people. We provide free, civil legal aid to low-income people in six offices, across 22 parishes throughout southeast Louisiana. Our six offices are located in Baton Rouge, Covington, Gretna, Hammond, Houma, and New Orleans. Everyday we:

  • protect domestic violence victims,
  • empower abused and neglected children by giving them a voice in their lives and the courtroom,
  • preserve housing for hard-working families,
  • end homelessness for people with disabilities and veterans,
  • protect elderly consumers,
  • remove barriers to access medical care,
  • improve access to employment and education for vulnerable people,
  • and so much more.

No matter what challenges our communities face, we work every day to increase access to justice and help vulnerable people clear life's legal hurdles.  But we can’t do it alone and that’s why we need your help.  To find out more information, please contact Cindy Horne, CP at 225-448-0080, ext. 302 or by email at chorne@slls.org or Douglas Carey at 504-529-1000, ext. 246 or by email at dcarey@slls.org.  Our website can also be found at www.SLLS.org.

“Our society has major unmet legal needs that adversely affect low and middle income families. It’s a situation that threatens the well-being of our democracy. According to California’s Business and Professions Code, lawyers should ‘Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself or herself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.’ The entire legal professional has an opportunity to address this crisis.” – Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye (October 2014)

Did FEMA give you a trailer or camper after Hurricane Ida? Are you still living in a FEMA Trailer or Camper?

This post does not apply to trailers from the state of Louisiana, only trailers from FEMA.

If you are still in a FEMA trailer, you should know the following:

  • FEMA says it will only allow the use of the trailer until August 29, 2023!
  • For March, April, and May 2023, rent for every trailer will be $50. March rent is due April 1st. If you are charged more than $50 for March, April, or May 2023, you can contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to see if we can provide free help.
  • If you are in your trailer after May, FEMA will charge you market rent. You can ask to reduce it based on your income. You will have to document your income and expenses. If you have a “very low income” (see chart below), you can be approved for $50 in rent. Starting in June 2023, call us for assistance if your rent is higher than you can afford. See https://slls.org/get-help/client-services/
  • If your income is above the “very low income” limit, FEMA is supposed to charge rent you can afford. You will have to document your income and expenses. If your rent is more than you can afford, call us for help.
  • For the higher rents after May, you should get a letter from FEMA telling you what your rent will be and how to appeal if you can’t afford it.
  • If you do not pay the rent, FEMA can put you out of the trailer!
  • February 28, 2023 is the last day to move out to not pay any rent.
FY 2022 Very Low-Income (50%) Limit (VLIL)
Median Family Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
72, 400 25,350 28,950 32,600 36,200 39,100 42,000 44,900 47,800

If you cannot afford the FEMA rent, have questions about FEMA rent, or will be put out of a FEMA trailer, call 1-844-244-7871 to see if Southeast Louisiana Legal Services can help.
Please note that if you reside in a camper provided by the State Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Ida Sheltering Program (NOT FEMA), there is no plan to charge you rent.

About SLLS

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing, and families.  Through legal representation, we can assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color. We are the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana.

Request for Proposals


SLLS seeks proposals for a redesign of its current website, www.slls.org. The site should be a visually appealing, accessible, and easy-to-navigate space for clients, volunteers, donors, and the community to apply for legal assistance, find legal resources and learn more about SLLS.

Design Goals

The website design should be clean, interactive, fully responsive, and consistent with SLLS branding. There should be a consistent style sheet across all pages. The homepage design should include at a minimum:

Functionality Goals

The website should be easy to manage with the ability to add additional elements as needed. We would prefer to use WordPress and Divi but are open to other CMS. Specific functionality needs include:

Additional Needs


We would like to soft launch the site by June 2023.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should be submitted by Wednesday, March 1, 2023, to Lynette Martin at lmartin@slls.org. Proposals should include at minimum:

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work.

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our missions of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associate with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.