NEW ORLEANS, LA – August 21, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family, with the help of an additional $2.3 million federal grant, is currently rebuilding so that it can once again service New Orleans’ elderly, announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA).
The additional public assistance grant will fund repairs to damages that were not accounted for during initial damage assessments, bringing FEMA’s overall funding to date for repairs to the Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family to $11.46 million.
“The wrath of Hurricane Katrina spared nothing in her path – including nursing homes,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office Acting Director Tony Russell. “Just as her destruction was absolute in its tenacity, so is FEMA’s commitment to fully restoring public facilities in New Orleans by providing all eligible funding. This additional grant for the Lafon Nursing Facility provides necessary financial support, ensuring the rebuilding and reopening of this crucial facility for the elderly.”
By providing home and on-site medical care, nursing homes play a critical role in contributing to the overall quality of life of the elderly in the community. In New Orleans, the Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family provided these important services to more than 100 elderly residents before Katrina greatly damaged and closed the facility.
“Although Hurricane Katrina caused massive destruction to south Louisiana’s infrastructure, property and economy without regard to individual circumstances, the reality is that our poor, sick and elderly citizens were disproportionately impacted,” said Louisiana Recovery Authority Executive Director Paul Rainwater. “The use of disaster recovery funding to rebuild the Lafon Nursing Facility is vital to restoring critical services to this vulnerable population.”
During Katrina, the Lafon Nursing home incurred three to five feet of standing floodwaters for several days, causing substantial mold growth and water damages throughout its 77,000 square foot, 155-bed facility.
Additional repairs funded by FEMA’s recent grant include such work as asbestos abatement throughout the facility, environmental remediation of an underground storage tank, straightening of window frames and reconstruction of the activity center in the physical therapy room.
FEMA also previously provided $408,500 in Section 406 Mitigation funding to the Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family. These funds, which are in addition to FEMA funding provided for repairs, will be used to elevate the facility’s mechanical and electrical equipment above the Advisory Base Flood Elevation, thus reducing the risk of flood damages to this essential equipment during any future storms.
Repairs at the Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family are continuing and work is 95 percent complete.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are transferred to a federal Smartlink account. Once the funds have reached this account, the applicant can request reimbursement from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) for eligible work completed. Obligated funds may change over time as the project worksheet is a living grant that is often adjusted as bids come in and scope of work is aligned.
The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations’ buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.
Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.