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Department of Planning and Zoning
Recovery Assistance and Mitigation Planning
I got a Notice of Substantial Damage – What Now?
Stop, Think, Ask - Recover.
Homeowners are receiving notices that their structures have been determined to be “substantially damaged.” What this means is that a structure is:
The Floodplain Administrator has reviewed the substantial damage estimations from the inspectors and is informing those structure owners that have a substantially damaged structure and of their responsibilities and options through these letters. This information is intended to inform property owners to help them decide whether to, or how to, repair or replace a damaged dwelling. A second page of each letter has contacts for grants for elevation, reconstruction or demolition.
A substantially damaged structure cannot be repaired until the structure is brought into compliance with the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance substantial damage provisions. These are required for the Parish to have flood policies through the National Flood Insurance Program.
What do I need to do?
If a building in the regulatory floodplain is determined by the local official to be substantially damaged, it must be brought into compliance with local floodplain management regulations prior to or at the same time as it is repaired.
Owners may decide to:
Substantial damage applies to a structure in the regulatory floodplain (determined by FEMA) for which the total cost of repairs is 50 percent or more of the structure’s market value before the disaster occurred, regardless of the cause of damage. Terrebonne Parish has a cumulative substantial damage standard, so this is added to all damages repaired or improvements to the structure in the past 10 years.
For example, if a structure’s market value before the damage was $200,000 and repairs are estimated to cost $120,000, that structure is substantially damaged. Land value is not included.
Anyone receiving the letters should pause any recovery efforts to consider whether they would be better off elevating, demolishing, relocating or rebuilding from the ground up. The Parish and state and federal agencies are developing and launching programs to assist with funding for as many people as can be funded with the available programs. Anyone who needs help should reach out! Reach out for knowledge, and reach out for help. The programs are not necessarily quick, but we will be stronger and safer for making the right decisions and building back better. Be sure that what you are doing is the best choice personally or professionally and meets the law.
All property owners should check with the permits department at 873-6567 to determine which permits for repairs are required before beginning any repair work. A substantially damaged structure can’t be permitted for repairs unless there are provisions for compliance with the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. This means that the structure must be or be brought to or above the FEMA base flood elevation. Again, this is damage from wind, fire, or any cause and not only flood.
Can I submit an appeal?
Any structure owner can appeal the decision by providing documentation that proves one or more of the criteria have not been met. For example:
Implement the plan for your recovery timely providing all the information necessary for programs. Put your funding aside to save for any required homeowner matches for grant programs. As soon as funding is in place, move forward without delay to avoid future damage and get a new normal.
Open Funding Programs:
Demolition – Public Assistance – 888-727-0228
Elevation or Reconstruction through the Parish FEMA funded program– (consultants) Rostan Solutions 985-235-0067
If the storm damage from Hurricane Ida was from flood, property owners who have a flood insurance policy through the NFIP and a substantially damaged building (from flooding) in a SFHA may be able to use additional funds – known as Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) – from their flood insurance policy (up to $30,000) to help defray the costs of elevating, relocating, demolishing a structure, or flood proofing a non-residential structure.
For more information on ICC, contact your insurance agent.
You can email FloodSmart@dhs.gov to request information in a language other than English.