Louisiana disaster survivors in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa parishes are urged to register for federal disaster assistance with FEMA.
Individuals and business owners in the designated parishes who had severe storm or flood damage may register for assistance the following ways:
Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
By calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
People who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585.
For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
These toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
First, and foremost, we are encouraging financial contributions. Gifts to our flood relief fund, which can be made at www.unitedwaysela.org/flood, will be used to support immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts.
We have opened a United Way Warehouse in Hammond for the collection anddistribution of much needed relief supplies. We are accepting delivery of supplies at two locations: Southshore - 2515 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119, 9:00 AM and6:00 PM; Northshore - 411 W Coleman Ave, Hammond, LA 70403, 10:00 AM and3:00 PM. Please note there is not a need for donations of clothing and furniture at this time. Click here for a list of items we are accepting.
We are helping to coordinate food distribution in partnership with Operation BBQ Relief, providing food for relief workers, volunteers and affected families.
We are working closely with Via Link 211 - a partner agency of United Way that provides information, referrals, training, and crisis intervention to people, organizations,and communities so they can help themselves and others. Citizens in need of services should dial 2-1-1. The service is available 24/7.
We are coordinating volunteer efforts. Volunteers are, and will continue to be, needed to support relief and long-term recovery efforts. Individuals can register atwww.unitedwaysela.org/flood.
We are supporting our corporate donors as they reach out to help their own employees affected by the floods.
We have launched a flood relief page to keep you updated on our long term recovery efforts. We encourage you to share it with your colleagues via social media. Visit: http://www.unitedwaysela.org/flood and please share broadly.
The number one question we have received has been a simple one. "What can I do to help?" We are sure you have asked the same question. Right now, making a financial contribution is the most efficient way to help and it allows United Way and our community partners to purchase needed materials and supplies to meet the needs of those affected by the floods. Visitwww.unitedwaysela.org/flood
Information for Displaced Residents
Although the recovery process for the 2016 flood is in its early stages, the task force has already begun coordinating strategies and programs to help find suitable housing for those displaced by the storms. The first step in this recovery is for displaced residents to follow FEMA guidelines and instructions for applying for disaster assistance. Residents can apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Flood victims are also encouraged to pre-register for DNSAP benefits atwww.dcfs.la.gov/preregister.
Information for Landlords
Secondly, the task force is working with LAHousingSearch.org to locate housing for those displaced by the flood. Property managers with vacancies should log in towww.LAHousingSearch.org and update their current property listings or call toll-free and have listings updated for them at 1-877-428-8844. Management companies andlandlords will also be able to list any new vacancies on the website and are asked to consider offering short-term lease options as well as permanent housing.
The task force's most immediate need is for landlords to communicate available properties so that LAHousingSearch can be updated daily with the most updated vacancies available statewide. Displaced residents will be able to search the LAHousingSearch website to look for affordable rental vacancies, with more openings coming available as new listings are added.
"LAHousingSearch.org is the official affordable housing site for recovery efforts and has provided relief throughout the state after numerous disasters for over 10 years." said Buddy Spillers, Chairman of the LHC Board of Directors. "We're calling on property owners and landlords who have an affordable home or apartment to rent to create a listing on the site free of charge.
"It is critical to get single and multi-family properties listed and/or updated onLAHousingSearch.org so displaced Louisianans can begin to relocate as necessary. We strongly encourage short-term lease options and accessible features be listed in the description where applicable."
LAHousingSearch.org is supported by a toll-free, bi-lingual call center M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. at 1-877-428-8844. Individuals and families looking for housing will be able to check the site for temporary and more permanent options. Searches can also be done by price range and description (such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms).
In addition to these initial efforts, the LHC and the Disaster Housing Task Force will continue to work with state agency partners, local non-profit organizations, community groups and FEMA to monitor housing vacancies statewide and work to connect landlords and tenants. The corporation will also continue to operate programs to assist residents needing more permanent housing solutions such as:
- Tenant Based Rental Assistance: temporary housing assistance providing 12 to 36 months of rental assistance for emergency housing as a result of a declared event
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): utility assistance for low-income families
- Market Rate GNMA and Preferred Conventional mortgage programs offering 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with up to 4% down payment and closing cost assistance
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit: incentive that increases the availability of low income rental housing
- HOME Investment Partnerships Program: financing to private developers, non-profit groups and community organizations to provide affordable rental housing.