Forty-two applicants will receive total compensation of about $1.5 million in the next few weeks through a pilot program offered by the state of Louisiana, the state’s Office of Community Development announced.

The state’s Road Home program provides financial assistance to residents who suffered losses from Hurricane Katrina or Rita. The Road Home is the largest housing recovery program in U.S. history, according to the state’s announcement.

The governor, the Louisiana Recovery Authority and the Office of Community Development teamed up to create the program, which is intended to award eligible homeowners up to $150,000 in compensation for their losses to get back into their homes.

More than 100,000 people initially registered for the Governor’s Road Home program, and the state estimates that as many as 120,000 people could qualify for assistance, according to the announcement. In the first phase of the program, a registry was created to assist in designing the program based on homeowners’ locations and information. Now, in phase two, homeowners must fill out an application with detailed information about their homes. Once the application has been reviewed, a homeowner will receive instructions by mail on how to schedule an appointment to visit a Housing Assistance Center.

“We are off to a great start, and thousands more homeowners will be served in the coming weeks. The Road Home program launched the day the State of Louisiana received federal dollars for compensation. We opened 10 Housing Assistance Centers statewide this week and are closing on the first disbursement accounts,” said Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. “The work that has been put into this … effort will allow us to help Louisiana residents return home and start rebuilding our state.”

The state has tapped banks and other financial institutions to assist their customers by establishing accounts that will hold and disburse the grant funds. Lenders will implement disbursement guidelines that have been reviewed by the state. Participating lenders will shoulder the cost of helping the state disburse the funds and have agreed to waive most fees associated with implementation, according to the announcement.

Homeowners can start their applications to The Road Home by visiting http://www.road2la.org/ or by calling (888) 762-3252 (ROAD-2-LA) or TTY: (800) 566-4224. Homeowners who have already registered with The Road Home will receive an application in the mail to complete as part of the next phase of the process or may apply online immediately.

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