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State program fixes roofs for free ahead of peak hurricane season

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Veronica Mack, speaking on behalf of her mother, Martha Kaufman, is thrilled to be getting a new roof on her family home in North Baton Rouge.

"It's very exciting," said Mack. "It brings back quality of life."

After a storm, Kaufman began to notice a leak in her ceiling. Experts determined she needed a new roof, but after she paid off her home, she did not have insurance to pay for it.

That's when she learned about the Blue Tarp Fund Roofing Repair Program.

"That was like 'phew'," Mack said. "It felt like relief, relaxation."

The program is the brainchild of Senator Regina Barrow, who had to deal with trying to get her own parents' roof fixed after Hurricane Ida.

"We had to go through this whole process of trying to get them a new roof and it was traumatic," said Barrow. "It was traumatic for me even as a legislator, so I can only imagine what seniors go through."

Qualified applicants can get a completely new roof through grant funding secured by Barrow last year.
It functions in partnership with the Louisiana Housing Commission.

"We're prioritizing seniors," said LHC Executive Director Joshua Hollins. "We're prioritizing low-income individuals, single mothers, those folks who may not have the resources to pay for a roof."

So far they are working on 12 roofs, but they have enough money to eventually get to 125 households.

Currently, they are not accepting new applicants, but that may change as more funding becomes available.

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