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Denham Springs applies for $1.6 million to elevate or demolish homes

4 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Monday, November 25 2019 Nov 25, 2019 November 25, 2019 10:22 PM November 25, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - More federal help could be coming for homeowners in Denham Springs through the latest flood grant request to FEMA.

$1.6 million is how much the city is asking from FEMA to either raise or demolish about a dozen homes.

"The need is still there, and as long as the need is there we'll continue to apply for those grants," Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry said. 

For the second year, the city applied for federal flood mitigation assistance. But only a handful of people applied to receive that help.

 "As time goes on, and people have exhausted their options they start to realize that this the best option that's out there," Landry said.

A total of 10 homes are up for elevation. They'll be raised a foot above the base flood level. Two other homes will be bought out, demolished, and the land given back to the city.

"In a lot of cases, this is the only opportunity some folks have to get rid of a blighted home. Or maybe they didn't have insurance. And Lord knows during the three years and four months since the flood a lot of folks have fallen on some difficult times," Landry said.

The process starts with the application. The property is then surveyed and homeowners then get bids from three contractors for the work.

Once approved by the city, which is what happened tonight, the applications now go to the Governors’ Office of Homeland Security and ultimately to FEMA.

It's a long and convoluted process. But it could end in FEMA paying for 75, 90 or 100 percent of the costs to elevate.

"The results are being seen now and that's very encouraging." FLASH TRANSITION "Look three years and four months out, three years and four months from now, we're probably going to still be doing this. It's a long slow process. But we heard that going in and we see it now and we're just going to keep pushing forward as hard as we can,” Landry said.

The application period for this year is over but applications are already being accepted for 2020. For more information, contact Denham Springs city hall.

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