Nearly three years after the storms, many New Orleanians are still having difficulty rebuilding their lives due the many roadblocks that Louisiana’s Road Home has imposed on applicants. Residents tend to face one of two problems with their Road Home award.
First, many homeowners are not awarded enough money by the Road Home program to actually rebuild their homes. In general this is because awards are based on an (often miscalculated, unfair or otherwise inaccurate) appraisal of the pre-storm value of the home, rather than an assessment of damage to the property. In many cases, homes are undervalued because the Road Home appraisals use non-comparable properties, or the Road Home refuses to accept applicant-provided appraisals. In some cases the Road Home has used lower pre-storm values in calculating grants even when higher values exist.
The second problem many Road Home applicants face is a tedious and disorganized appeals process. Many applicants are not informed when a changed pre-storm value or insurance claim reduces the amount of their grant or when their application has been switched to inactive status. Many people have been rushed to closing, only to find out that their grant is much less than they were told it would be. Often Road Home case managers are difficult to get in touch with, and appeals are not resolved within four months even when their policies state that decisions should be made in 60 days.
Despite all the roadblocks, Road Home applicants and grant recipients have resources and help available to them. A new law just went into effect that guarantees all grants are based on the highest available pre-storm value. It also allows those applicants who have not been able to have their issues resolved to have their grant reviewed by a third party. Additionally, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) has several counselors on staff who can guide individuals through the Road Home appeals process, and have successfully increased award amounts in many cases.
Created By: The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
To get in touch with one of GNOFHAC’s housing counselors,
To make a complaint about Road Home,
For FAQs related to Road Home Legal or Property Title Problems:
Free services are available to help you with the Road Home process
ACORN Housing counselors are available to help with mortgage delinquency, credit
For help with your mortgage contact the Homeownership Preservation Fund at
New Orleans Legal Assistance provides help to low income people, including help
Loyola Law Clinic provides free help for low-income Road Home applicants, especially
For more information on GNOFHAC’s programs go to: http://www.gnofairhousing.org
Legal help for housing related issues can be found here:
Visit Southeast Louisiana’s Legal Service to access an application to request help