Roofing program experiencing delays, hope to have projects completed in 2022
BATON ROUGE – Rainy days add even more stress to people struggling to get damaged roofs repaired. Hundreds are part of a replacement program that hits snags.
The subsidized Roof Reset program is completing projects, but delays caused by COVID-19 and staffing issues have prevented it from moving at the pace managers would like.
Neil Bernard says his mother’s house has been on the program list since he first heard about it in July 2019. He pointed out problem spots and leaks in the house on 2 On Your Side Friday and said they don’t have the money or insurance to cover the repair costs. After the 2016 flood, they spent money on fixing up the house and shortly after, their homeowner’s insurance policy dropped them. To get the homeowners insurance back, the house needs a new roof. His hope is the Roof Reset Program.
“We saw this Roof Reset program as a godsend to be able to fix that roof,” Bernard said.
Unfortunately, he says it has been anything but that.
“It’s been a disaster,” he said. “Everything was fine until our representative left.”
Bernard says he has waited for the start of the project for the past two years and has had little contact with program managers.
“We just want to know what’s going on,” he said.
Across the city, those program dollars were at work this week. Build Baton Rouge President and CEO Chris Tyson says the Roof Reset program is making progress, although it may be a little slower than people would like.
“We know it’s been a long time in some cases,” Tyson said. “In addition to designing and approving the program, we were then hit by COVID, which caused a significant delay. We are now a little short on staff.”
Build Baton Rouge is the administrator of the municipality’s Office of Community Development, which manages several grant programs. One is the community development grant program that facilitates projects such as home repairs for eligible residents. Tyson says the Roof Reset Program was established in 2019 to accelerate the spending of a backlog of those funds and ensure those dollars impact Baton Rouge communities. Roofing is an essential part of one’s home.
So far, 138 roofs have been replaced and 32 are in progress. Another 150 roofs await inspection. The hope is that by the summer of 2022, more than 300 roofs will have been replaced.
“We understand the urgency, we’re sympathetic to that,” Tyson said.
The Roof Reset program is not currently accepting new applications. If you are waiting for information from Build Baton Rouge, Tyson encourages people to call 225-387-5606.
Bernard hopes to hear good news soon. His mother’s house is still undergoing the process, but the Roof Reset program hopes to speed up the next step of approval.