BATON ROUGE, La. — Federal help for Louisiana flood survivors now tops $3 billion eight months after the Aug. 14 disaster declaration. This disaster recovery assistance has been disbursed or obligated by FEMA, so far, to eligible Louisianans and public entities through the Individuals and Household Program (IHP) and the Public Assistance Program (PA). Funding was also issued through U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
More than 73,000 Louisiana families received FEMA help through the IHP. The program provides housing assistance, including rental assistance, home repairs and other eligible disaster-related needs. More than $162 million has helped households pay for disaster-related expenses like replacing essential household items, medical expenses and moving and storage costs. FEMA also approved more than $765 million to help individuals and households, including nearly $458 million for home repairs. About $41 million has been paid for hotel stays for eligible survivors.
The SBA has approved low-interest disaster loans of nearly $1.24 billion to help businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters recover from property losses and other damage from the severe storms and flooding.
Assistance also includes reimbursing local and state agencies for expenses related to disaster response and recovery. FEMA’s PA program has obligated over $325 million for projects, including more than $60 million for schools. PA funding also helps to repair or replace critical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, public buildings and hospitals.
The program encourages protection of damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for certain hazard mitigation measures. FEMA typically reimburses 75 percent of eligible PA expenses. Due to the magnitude of the August floods, FEMA will reimburse applicants 90 percent of eligible PA expenses.