Nearly 6,000 Louisiana residents who borrowed money from the U.S. Small Business Administration following devastating floods in March and August 2016 are waiting to see if the Department of Housing and Urban Development will amend federal rules and open access to recovery grants allotted for the state, according to a new article from the Associated Press.
According to the reporting, Congress amended the law last year to allow SBA loan applicants to not have the loans count against the federally financed grants and at this time, the victims of 2016’s devastating floods are just waiting for HUD to issue new legal guidance on the matter.
How long will that be? According to the leader of the state’s recovery effort, at least a month.
From the article:
Pat Forbes, the leader of Louisiana’s flood recovery effort, said HUD guidance that was expected in March could be delayed another month due to the shutdown.
“The 35 days of shutdown probably adds at least 35 days to that timeline because those were days people were going to be writing this guidance,” Forbes, director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, told the Restore Louisiana Task Force on Friday.
HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan said the agency, which saw 97 percent of its workforce furloughed during the shutdown, still hopes to issue its new SBA loan rules done within the first quarter of the year. He said the agency has been “gigantically busy” working on recovery plans for other recent disasters.
Sullivan told the AP he couldn’t comment on whether the department will give Louisiana the green light to pay off SBA disaster loans, but noted that the law change “says SBA loans can never be considered a duplication of benefits.”