We hope that the following
"Questions and Answers" will tell you the basics about how the program works.
For additional information, or to submit a project call the Office of Community
Development at 389-3039, and ask for our Housing Intake Officer.
What Kinds of Repairs Can be Assisted Through this Program?
The program can assist with minor housing repairs that can typically be
done by unskilled or semi-skilled volunteer workers. (We'll, of course, be more than
happy to consider projects involving a volunteer work force of persons skilled in housing
construction.) Typical projects include such things as house painting, minor
carpentry, roofing repair, wheelchair ramps.
What Kind of Repairs Are Not Assisted?
The program does not assist with repairs that would require
construction permits (such as building, plumbing and electrical permits) unless those
repairs are done under the direct supervision of a licensed contractor who takes out the
necessary permits as required by ordinances.
What Kind of Assistance is Provided?
For approved projects, the Office of Community Development (OCD)
provides the necessary materials and supplies for the job (e.g., painting materials,
lumber, roofing material, etc.). The materials are provided to the homeowner, at no
cost, and on condition that the owner agrees to allow the organization to make the
repairs. Acquisition and delivery of the materials is handled by OCD in accordance
with the volunteer work schedule for the project. During its consideration of a
project, OCD will review the house and planned repairs and assist with developing a list
of the quantities and types of materials needed.
Tools and Equipment?
We're unable to provide power or hand tools, nor equipment, for the
repair work. Those items need to be obtained by the sponsoring organization.
Some types of supplies can be included, for example paint brushes, scrappers, drop cloths,
How is the Homeowner Selected?
Sponsoring organizations typically select the person whom they want to
assist. If a group does not have a particular person in mind, OCD can refer possible
candidates. For referrals, the sponsor should identify any particular types of
repairs that it is prepared to undertake, any preferred household characteristics
(e.g., elderly, handicapped, single mother, etc.), any preferred neighborhood, or other
Other Homeowner Selection Requirements?
The assisted person must be considered low income, according to income
definitions, according to family size, of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. OCD makes this eligibility determination during the course of
considering the volunteer project. OCD obtains an application from the homeowner,
makes the determination, and notifies the sponsor. However, specific applicant
information is considered confidential, and is not released to the sponsor unless the
applicant specifically requests in writing that it be released.
What is Generally Expected of the Sponsor?
The sponsor needs to recruit a sufficient volunteer work force to
satisfactorily and timely complete the planned repairs. A contact representative
with whom OCD can coordinate activities is required, and a qualified repair coordinator
(if different from the contact representative) needs to be identified for oversight of the
volunteer work. Please refer to OCD's VHP "Sponsor
Guide" page for more information on what is expected of the sponsor or sponsoring
What Kinds of Organizations May Sponsor a Program?
Pretty much any kind. Sponsors can be non-profit organizations,
for-profits/business, faith- based organizations, or other types of neighborhood-based
How Does a Sponsor Get Started with OCD?
Simply call (389-3039) and ask to speak to our housing intake officer,
or write to us at: Office of Community Development, P.O. Box 1471, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
Although not required, it is often a good idea for the sponsor's representative to
meet with OCD staff early in the process in order to discuss project plans.
OCD should be contacted several weeks in advance
of the planned work. We need to complete the person's eligibility application and
review the house and planned repairs before committing to providing the materials.
From there, materials need to purchased and delivered so as to fit the volunteer repair
schedule. It is not necessary to have a firm repair date in mind at the time of
What Happens Upon OCD Project Approval?
The sponsor's contact representative is notified, and the volunteer
repair schedule is confirmed. There is a set of "Sponsor Guidelines" that
are presented to the organization, and which must be agreed to before the start of the
repair work. As a part of the homeowner application approval, the owner also signs
an agreement to allow the planned repairs to be performed through the sponsor.