FEMA assistance available to Sibley residents

SIBLEY — Additional help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is available for those in Sibley affected by the March 2016 floods, and those who have not completed the first step to get that help are being asked to do so.

In a letter to the town last week, the Office of Community Development Disaster Recovery Unit recently launched the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program. The program is designed to help those affected by the March 2016 floods rebuild their homes, and state records show that 91 percent of those in Sibley who had flood damage did not complete the survey that could help them get additional assistance.

“Most of those who have a Sibley address were around the lake area,” Mayor Jimmy Williams said. “I know people whose houses were totally destroyed that are just now starting to get some money from FEMA. For us, 99 percent of those that didn’t get assistance were around the lake area.”

To date, only seven have completed the survey.

“Our records show that 82 households in your city [sic] had a FEMA verified loss resulting from the 2016 floods…,” according to the letter. “We were recently awarded an additional $51.4 million from Housing and Urban Development as part of the latest disaster assistance appropriation by Congress. With these funds, the Restore Louisiana Task Force has approved expanding the Homeowner Assistance Program to include help for homeowners who had flood insurance at the time of the disaster but still meet the Phase I program requirements (low-to-moderate income families, with an owner who is elderly or has a household member with a disability, whose home is outside the floodplain).”

The program is funded through HUD, and the survey is the first step in order for homeowners to receive assistance, the letter states.

Williams is encouraging those who did not sign up for assistance or complete the survey to do so in order to get help rebuilding.

“There were a lot of people affected by the flood,” he said. “It’s still available. If someone has a house that hasn’t been restored and still has water damage, it can’t hurt.”

For more information, contact Sibley Town Hall at 377-0345.

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