Thursday, February 22, 2007

Louisiana Road Home Program and Seniors

A New Orleans native, I want to share information on what is really going on there, particularly with senior citizens. Keep in mind that the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has admitted that their failure to construct the levees properly is what caused the flooding of New Orleans, not Hurricane Katrina.

With the hoopla of the Mardi Gras season over, major parts of the city remain in ruins. I recently spoke with a young woman who volunteered for three weeks with the rebuilding there earlier this month. She said she was shocked by how much of the cleanup still hasn’t been done. Less than half of the population before Hurricane Katrina has returned.

What is the Road Home Program?

Briefly, it is the hurricane housing grant program established by Louisiana Governor Blanco in August 2006, a year after Hurricane Katrina. The purpose of the program is to provide assistance to the state’s eligible homeowners who suffered Hurricane Katrina and Rita damage to their homes. To help these homeowners find the “Road Home” as soon as possible, they would be compensated up to $150,000 for their losses. Criteria for eligibility are based on FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) guidelines, depending on damage and other aid they receive. Grants for homeowners who do not reinvest in Louisiana property are docked 40%.

What about senior citizens?

In October 2006, the governor announced that senior citizens (homeowners 65 years and older) who apply for Road Home assistance will not be penalized if they sell out, move out of the state or rent within the state.

Is the “Road Home” really open for immediate access?

These latest program statistics can be viewed at the Road Home News Room Web site: At this rate, it will take years before all applicants receive the financial assistance they have desperately needed since fall 2005. Many seniors will have died waiting for the "Road Home" to open for them.

Frances Shani Parker
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. So am I to understand that if an elderly couple gets a grant from the LRA that they are NOT obliged to buy a house or to stay in Louisiana? Can anyone give me any information on this? ~Thanks

  2. Yes, that was true when I wrote that post over a year ago. For the latest information on the program, click the link in the last paragraph of the post or go to this site < > with background information and frequently asked questions about the program. Their website is updated weekly. I hope this helps you. Frances