Are You a Homeowner Still Recovering From Hurricane Damage? You May Be Able To Get Help From Restore Louisiana

Posted on: October 6, 2022

Updated 4/2/2023

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

What is Restore Louisiana?

Restore Louisiana helps Louisiana homeowners rebuild if their homes were destroyed or nearly destroyed by one of these three Hurricanes: Ida, Laura, or Delta. The Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) runs this federal disaster relief program.

Am I eligible?

All of these things must be true for you to get this aid.

  • You must have owned the home when the hurricane hit.
  • That home must have been your “primary residence.” That means the home was the main place where you lived at the time of the hurricane.
  • You must still own that home.
  • Your income must be low-to-moderate. There are rules about what that means.
  • The government must find that your home had “major and severe” damage.

Any one of the three things listed here should mean your home had “major and severe” damage:

  • You received a FEMA award of at least $5,000 to repair your home.
  • You received a FEMA award of at least $3,500 for personal property.
  • Your home had more than one foot of flooding.

How do I apply for help from Restore Louisiana?

STEP 1: Complete the Restore Louisiana survey that is administered by the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD)

You must complete the survey to qualify for the program.

Is there a deadline to complete the survey?

The survey is separate from the full application.

It’s easy to confuse the survey with the full application.

The survey is a required first step to see if you will be allowed to file a full application.

Don’t wait to send in your survey.

The program could decide in the future to set a deadline for surveys.

Again, the program uses the survey to see who will be allowed fill out a full application.

  • You can take the survey online at
  • You can take the survey by phone at (866) 735-2001.
  • Phone hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Keep the account ID, last name, and password you used when filling out the program survey in a safe place. You may have to use them for years.

After you do the survey, Restore Louisiana should start to send you text and email messages about your request for aid.

STEP 2: Completing the Restore Louisiana application.

If your survey is approved Restore Louisiana will text or email you to apply for aid from Restore Louisiana. That means you have been asked to send in a full application for aid.

You can fill out the Restore Louisiana full application on a computer tablet, or mobile device.

The application will ask you to log onto something called a “portal.”

You will enter the same account ID, last name and password you used when filling out the program survey.

At this stage you will need to give the program documents that show you qualify for aid.

Before you start your application learn more about what it takes to qualify for aid.

  • Proving Home Ownership
    • If your name is not the name that appears on the land records, tax assessors or other government databases, you may have to show additional documents to prove you owned the damaged home at the time of the hurricane.
    • Proving home ownership can create problems for people who inherited a home from someone who died. This is called heir property. Sometimes the heirs did not complete the legal step called a “succession” to transfer ownership of the house.
    • Sometimes problems crop up when proving ownership of a trailer.
    • If you have trouble proving home ownership, you may need legal help with this issue.

You may qualify for free legal aid from SLLS.

To see if you qualify for free legal aid from SLLS, call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply through our website by clicking here.

  • Occupancy of the home – proving that you were living in the home at the time of the disaster.
    • Homeowners must be able to prove they were living in the home at the time of the hurricane.
    • Occupancy is proven through parish records.

For example, the Restore Louisiana program will look for a homestead exemption in the property tax records.

  • When occupancy cannot be shown through parish records like a homestead exemption, you may have to send in other records like tax records, utility bills, other bills to show that you were living in the home at the time of the hurricane.
  • Flood Insurance
    • You may need to prove that you have flood insurance to get Restore Louisiana aid,
    • You will need to prove something about flood insurance if your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (or 100-Year Flood Plain)
      • Before you can sign for your Restore Louisiana grant you will need to send in a copy of a current flood insurance declaration page.
        Or you may need to send in something called a “declination letter” (if your home cannot get flood insurance because of its poor condition).
      • Reconstructions and trailer home replacements: you must send in proof that you have flood insurance before construction is complete or before the final inspection.

*For more information, see Restore Louisiana’s Flood Insurance Requirements flyer.

  • Homeowners who do not take the steps below may not be able to get funding and might be asked to pay back any money they were paid.
  • Send in proof you are flood insured when you are getting the Restore funds
  • Have flood insurance coverage at ALL times after that
  • If you sell your home, you must tell the new owner of the requirement to keep flood insurance
  • Homeowners who get federal disaster aid for a damaged home must buy and keep flood insurance coverage on the property for as long as the home exists.
  • Elevation
    • Elevation of the home may be required on a case-by-case basis.
    • If your home is in a floodplain you may have to elevate if
      • required by a local ordinance, and
      • the local code officials determine your home is substantially damaged or will be substantially improved
      • This elevation must be to HUD’s height requirement, or to the local jurisdiction height requirement, whichever is higher
    • If your home is not in a floodplain you may have to elevate if a local ordinance requires this for reconstructions
    • If elevation is required, you must have it done the same way as the rest of the work Restore is funding on your home.

This means if you choose Solution 1: Program-Managed Construction, then you must allow the Restore Program to elevate your home.

If you choose one of the other Solutions, then you have to make sure your home is elevated.

  • You can lose your Restore Louisiana Aid or be asked to pay back the money if you do not elevate a home that is required to be raised up

* Call Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001 to learn more about elevation requirements.

What flood zone am I in?

See steps below.

Go to:

  1. LSU’s website at: or FEMA’s website at:
  2. Put your address in the search bar.
  3. Select the “go” or “search” button.
  4. Find the pin on the map, and zoom in.
  5. Your flood zone area will show up.
  6. Click this link to view a flood zone chart and find your corresponding flood zone area.

You can also find this chart information on FEMA’s website at:

Here, you can find out what flood zone that you are in.

Here are the next steps once your application is accepted:

  • You will be contacted to make an appointment with an inspector.
  • You will receive grant money based on your damage assessment.
  • Your next steps will depend on which solution you choose.

During the application process, you can choose a solution based on the progress in the rebuilding process and your capacity to complete the work.

○ If you have remaining work to be completed, then you will be asked to choose between Solution 1: Program -Managed Solution or Solution 2: Homeowner- Managed Construction.

○ If you have a mobile home unit (MHU) that needs to be replaced, you will be asked to consider Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Replacement Assistance.

○ If you seek reimbursement costs for partial or full repairs on your home, or if you replaced your MHU before applying to the Restore Program, you may be eligible for Solution 3: Reimbursement of expenses that you incurred before the application process and up to completion of the Program’s Damage Assessment.

○ For more information, see the Restore Program’s Homeowner Journey Guide or Choosing your Solution video.

Still have work needed on your home? You may want to look at the pros and cons of Solution 1 and 2 below:

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.

Solution 1 will assign a licensed and insured contractor who will 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, then this option 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 difficulty, or discomfort, for you. Also, you will be required to move out your belongings, 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 not be for you. Unfortunately, the Restore program does not provide moving and storage assistance. But it does cover rent.

SOLUTION 2: Homeowner-Managed

Pros: If you want to choose your own licensed and insured contractor and want to take more control over your home reconstruction decisions, you may want to consider Solution 2.

Cons: This option may not work for someone who has trouble keeping track of deadlines, managing money, or has other problems that would make it hard to deal with a repair or rebuilding project.

You must do some things to keep your grant under either Solution 1 or Solution 2:

You could lose your grant or be asked to pay it back if you do not follow the rules of the program.

  • Stay in touch with the case manager for the duration of the program
  • Send in required documents
  • Allow lead-based paint testing
  • Allow inspections

* For more information about Solutions 1 and 2, see our flyer found here or Contact Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001.

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