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Woman faces eviction if rebuild doesn't start soon

BATON ROUGE - A woman who's living in a FEMA Manufactured Housing Unit is facing eviction if she does not start construction on her flood-damaged home.

Floy Cook says she can't afford to make the repairs herself and she can't find anyone to help her. The clock is ticking and time is running out because Cook has about 10 days to find a solution. She's hoping the state run Restore Louisiana Program can help.

Cook has been living in her MHU off Hooper Road since January after losing everything in the August flood. The home she's lived in for 50 years is gutted. No repairs have been made.

"I've torn all the inside out," she said.

That's all she's been able to do because she's on a fixed income and can't afford to buy supplies or hire a contractor.

"I try not to think about it," said Cook.

But she's forced to, since FEMA has given her a deadline to start making repairs or move out of the MHU. She has until July 5 to make things happen.

FEMA says as part of an MHU occupant's agreement, Cook must be actively making progress toward a permanent housing solution. Flood survivors agree to these terms prior to taking occupancy and acknowledge that noncompliance could lead to losing eligibility to occupy an MHU.

Cook's saving grace could be the Restore Louisiana Program, which is dedicated to helping homeowners affected by the 2016 floods repair and restore their damaged homes, or get reimbursed for work already completed.

"I'm on the best list because of my age and my income," she said.

Cook is in Phase One of the Homeowner's Assistance Program. She remains optimistic that construction will get start prior to that July 5 deadline.

"I'm going to wait and see what they'll do for me," she said.

Right now, that's all she can do because her funds are so limited. She doesn't have enough money to rent, either.

FEMA says it's working with the state counterparts, including the Restore Louisiana Program. Restore Louisiana also says it's looking into Cook's case.

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