Restore Louisiana: Should I Pick Solution 1 or Solution 2?

Posted on: October 10, 2022
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If you have undone repairs or rebuilding work to do on your home, the Restore LA program gives homeowners two choices. You must first qualify for Restore LA aid.  To learn more about Restore LA see our other blog post here.

Here are the two ways you can use aid from Restore Louisiana:

  • Solution 1: Program - Managed (that means the program hires, pays, and oversees the company that will fix your home)
  • Solution 2: Homeowner - Managed (that means you hire, pay, and oversee the company that fixes your home); Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Replacement Assistance (that means that the program replaces, not repairs your damaged mobile home).

Both Solution 1 & 2 require that you meet the following requirements below.  If you do not comply, you may not be eligible for program assistance and you may have to pay funds back to the program.

  • Maintain communication with the case manager during the program. A case manager is a person who will be assigned to you, direct you to resources, and help you develop a disaster recovery plan.
  • Submit required documents.
  • Allow lead-based paint testing.
  • Allow inspections.

There is a third way to use Restore LA aid. That is called Solution 3: Reimbursement.

The third choice is for people who have money to fix their home. Or for people who have already installed a manufactured home unit on their property to replace a damaged home.

Those homeowners can try to get Restore LA to reimburse (pay back) what they spent to repair or rebuild, or replace a manufactured home unit, completed before the program damage assessment. This money is separate from other FEMA or insurance money.

Which choice is right for me?

Here is information about each choice – called a “Solution” by Restore LA.

Solution 1: Program - Managed

  • The state hires a licensed and insured contractor to manage repair or rebuilding of your home.
  • That means the state and the contractor call most of the shots for your home repair or rebuilding project.
  • You do not work directly with the contractor.
  • The contractor does the repair or rebuilding work, including hiring and managing the workers.
  • This can include demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting.
  • The state pays the contractor.
  • You do not get the money to pay the contractor.
  • The state provides a limited warranty on home repairs and new construction made by the program contractor.
  • The program will only pay amount based on allowable square footage, subtracting any other disaster assistance you got.
  • You can pick colors and finishes from choices available.
  • All materials are economy (budget) grade. That means this is not an upscale or luxury repair or rebuilding project. You cannot make upgrades, substitutions, or customize the work.[1]
  • You must contribute funds received from other sources (FEMA, SBA, or insurance payments) into an escrow account before receiving the grant award. These funds, too, will be disbursed by the Program to make Payments to the Solution 1 contractor.
  • Everyone in the home must move out of the home within 30 days after Notice to Proceed is issued. The move out is to allow the repairs or rebuilding to go forward on time. The state provides money for hotel and rental assistance during this time if you need it and have no other available housing. To be considered, contact your case manager who can help assist you in this process.
  • If everyone does not move out BY THE DEADLINE the grant can be taken away. That means Restore LA will not go forward with your repairs or rebuilding, and you will lose this aid.
  • You must handle your own move out. That means you must move out all of your things and store them if you want to keep them.
  • If you do not remove your things from your home, repair or construction workers will throw away your things. You can move your things back into your home only after the work is done and the home passes final inspection.
  • Any demolition and reconstruction are managed by the contractor.
  • You get to approve changes and should attend inspections. Changes may be needed in the event of drawing errors and omissions in the construction documents. Sometimes specifications are not clear or impossible to perform.
  • Direct questions go to your case manager, not the contractor.

Solution 2: Homeowner - Managed

  • All solution 2 projects require a LA licensed general contractor

There are two choices under Solution 2.

  • You manage project:
    • This choice means that you oversee repairs or rebuilding yourself by hiring, paying, and supervising the work.
    • Reimbursement payment made to homeowner after work is inspected and verified.
    • Remember to make sure you and your contractor know about this and agree to these terms in your written contract.
  • You hire licensed contractor:
    • This choice means that you hire a Louisiana licensed and insured contractor to oversee the project.
    • The state may issue a two-party check to homeowner and contractor after work is inspected and verified.
  • Contracts are between you and your selected contractor(s).
  • The state does not provide a warranty for Solution 2 projects. That means the state does not guarantee the work will be done correctly.
  • You should seek reputable contractors who stand behind their work with a warranty.
  • You must give Restore LA a “project completion plan and timeline” for projects of $10,000.00 or more.
  • You won’t get any Restore LA money until the repair or construction work is inspected and confirmed. Make sure your contracts allow for this, so your contractor knows what it takes to get paid for the work.
  • You are responsible for contributing all FEMA, SBA, insurance, or other non-profit  insurance and FEMA  funds previously received. You must report all of these before receiving an award. The program will identify all potential sources of assistance received and reduce awards by these other amounts.
  • You can work with contractors of your choice and choose your own building materials.
  • Note: The program reimburses for the cost of economy (budget) grade materials and finishes. So this means that you will have to pay the difference for higher grade materials or finishes.
  • Deadlines:
    • You must start construction with at least one inspection within 180 days of executing grant agreement.
    • Must complete project within 365 days of executing the grant agreement.
    • If deadlines are not met, you may lose state funding.

Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Unit (or MHU) Replacement Assistance

  • The state establishes maximum allowed for removal of a damaged unit, replacement of damaged MHUs and the costs associated with the delivery and set up of the new MHU.
  • If you are eligible to replace a damaged MHU with a new MHU, a damaged singlewide MHU will be $85,000.00. or less A damaged doublewide MHU will be $120,000.00 or less. The amount will be reduced by any other assistance you received from FEMA, SBA, or insurance. This amount also has to cover the removal and transportation and setup.
  • You must also provide the bill of sale which clearly states that Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the replacement unit.
  • You will not get any money until you give the program proof of a contract to purchase and install a new (not used) MHU. Proof can be  a Purchase Agreement with an MHU seller.
  • Exception: If you have already received a FEMA MHU and want to purchase that mobile home, you may be able to purchase it, but only with FEMA’s approval and an agreement to purchase provided. To see if this would apply to you, first check with Restore Louisiana for further details.

SOLUTION 1: Program - Managed

Pros: If all this is overwhelming and you want someone to take the lead, then you may want to consider Solution 1. Under Solution 1 Restore LA will hire  a licensed and insured contractor to  handle the demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting through completion of the project.

If you struggle with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or if you have other problems that will make it hard for you to keep up with a repair or construction project, or if it is hard for you to find a  contractor then Solution 1 may help  you.

Cons: If you chose Solution 1, you will be required to move out of your home. You   cannot move back into your home until notified by the program in writing. If you do not want to be displaced from your home, then this Solution may cause discomfort.

Also, you will be required to move your belongings out of your home, otherwise it will be disposed of as part of the demolition. If you do not have a place to store your belongings, then this option may cause difficulty. Unfortunately, the Restore program does not provide moving and storage assistance.

SOLUTION 2: Homeowner - Managed

Pros: This option gives you more control, though you will also have more responsibility.  Solution 2 may help you if you really want to pick your own  licensed and insured contractor and if you can handle  deadlines, contracts, details, and  find a reputable contractor within the time limits.

Cons: If you have an issue with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or have accessibility barriers, then this option may not be for you.

Check out this video for more information:

Need more materials? Check out the links below.

*Contact Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001 for more details about Solution 1 & 2 reconstruction. 

[1] The program will make changes as needed for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations. For example, “If the homeowner has any mobility issues, vinyl flooring will be installed throughout the home. Flooring transitions must be such that a wheelchair/mobility impaired person can easily maneuver throughout the home. “ LA Office of Community Development. Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program. Version 1.2 last updated: April 2022, pp. 105.

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