New roof for Christmas, Roof Reset Program working through large applicant list

BATON ROUGE – Some residents are getting new roofs for the holidays. The East Baton Rouge Roof Reset Program is working through its applicants and phase one of the program.

Shirley Williams is now a proud homeowner with a new roof.

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “I thank God for it.”

Williams received a brand new roof through the Roof Reset Program a few weeks ago. She first noticed a bad leak in her roof a year ago, after a tree fell onto her house. Without a way to pay for repairs, Williams set out buckets to catch the falling water. 

“This is a Christmas present to me and I’m very grateful,” she said.

Williams is one of more than 600 applicants to the program. While the application period has ended, the program is still working through a large number of requests.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome says the response has been overwhelming.

“That just goes to show you how many people need new roofs. And, of course, new roofs are like having a strong foundation,” Broome said. “If you don’t have a roof, your house is pretty vulnerable.”

The program, in partnership between Build Baton Rouge and the Office of Community Development, is trying to take care of as many roofs as possible.

Funding for the program comes from grants provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“It’s incumbent upon us to work as efficiently and effectively as possible to make sure those dollars reach the people that they’re intended to serve,” said President and CEO of Build Baton Rouge, Chris Tyson.

There are 50 Roof Reset applicants in phase one. Of those applicants, 23 roof projects have been completed by local contractors. The goal is to serve as many eligible applicants as possible.

Funding for the program comes from grants provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Build Baton Rouge was initially anticipating that the program would cost about $1 million, but after seeing the large need in the community it estimates the program will cost about $2.5 million. Roof Reset will be repairing roofs throughout 2020 and is considering opening up the program to more applicants in 2021.

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