Louisiana residents can't use federal flood recovery funds to repay SBA loans, agencies say
Louisiana residents who received U.S. Small Business Administration loans for their post-flood home repairs will not be able to pay off those debts with a new state program funded by federal recovery dollars, federal agencies have determined.
But the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development may be willing to play ball on lowering the share of the $1.67 billion state recovery program that must go to low-to-moderate income households and on working with the state to avoid costly environmental reviews required before home repairs can start.
The findings came Thursday afternoon as part of a multi-agency written response to Gov. John Bel Edwards on a number of his requests for the federal response to the 2016 floods. Edwards' office did not have an immediate comment Thursday evening, nor did members of the Louisiana congressional delegation.
The response does not directly address Edwards' request for an additional $2 billion in federal recovery dollars nor for the $125 million needed to finish the long-stalled Comite River Diversion project, noting only that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funds its projects on a competitive, performance-based basis.