About the Isle De Jean Charles Resettlement

The Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement is a federally funded, first-of-its kind initiative to voluntarily resettle the residential population of Isle de Jean Charles, a small settlement on the coast of Louisiana. Due to myriad environmental factors, the island has experienced 98 percent land loss since 1955.

From the outset, the state’s expressed purpose has been to provide all current, permanent residents with relocation and resettlement options that reflect the values of the Isle de Jean Charles people. In keeping with this goal and mindful of the dire environmental conditions faced by island residents, the intended primary beneficiaries of the Resettlement are current, permanent residents of the island and former island households displaced since Aug. 28, 2012.

The goals of the Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement include:

  • Assist willing island residents in moving out of harm’s way to safe, new homes in a community that provides an improved quality of life; or, if they prefer not to join the community, they may move to an established home in a lower-risk area in Louisiana.
  • Collaborate with current and past island residents on the design of the new community.
  • Ensure that the community is economically sustainable in its new location.
  • Facilitate preservation and continuity of islanders’ diverse cultural identities and traditions.
  • Create a holistic approach to the Resettlement that will illustrate best practices and lessons learned for consideration by other diverse and culturally rich communities facing climate-driven relocation.

RESETTLEMENT FUNDING

In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the state of Louisiana $48.3 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Resettlement of Isle de Jean Charles, as part of the Office of Community Development’s winning application to the National Disaster Resilience Competition.

With Resettlement funding now in place, Louisiana has the ability to make possible a structured and voluntary retreat from Isle de Jean Charles that is thoughtful and equitable, while maximizing opportunities for current and past island residents. As the Resettlement establishes itself over time, the state expects on-site generated revenue and capital to contribute to the economic sustainability of the new community.

ELIGIBILITY AND BENEFITS

The Resettlement options are first available to residents currently living on the island and those displaced since Hurricane Isaac’s landfall in 2012 who do not own an off-island home. The state also anticipates that former permanent island residents displaced before Hurricane Isaac will be able to rejoin the Isle de Jean Charles community at the new site if they lived in a program eligible parish (Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany and Terrebonne) at the time of Hurricane Isaac.

A NEW HOME
IN THE NEW COMMUNITY
AVAILABLE BENEFIT

Eligible households will receive a new housing unit built at the community resettlement site.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Current permanent, primary residents on the island.

or

Past permanent, primary residents who do not currently own an off-island home and:

  • lived on the island on Aug. 28, 2012 (Hurricane Isaac), have been displaced since that time and currently live in a program eligible parish.

or

  • lived in a program eligible parish on Aug. 28, 2012, lived on the island after that time and currently live in a program eligible parish.
A
An Existing Home
in Louisiana
AVAILABLE BENEFIT

Eligible households will receive funding toward an existing home within Louisiana that meets program standards, is located outside the currently recognized 100-year floodplain and is separate from the community resettlement site.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Current permanent, primary residents on the island.

or

Past permanent, primary residents who do not currently own an off-island home and:

  • lived on the island on Aug. 28, 2012 (Hurricane Isaac), have been displaced since that time and currently live in a program eligible parish.

or

  • lived in a program eligible parish on Aug. 28, 2012, lived on the island after that time and currently live in a program eligible parish.
D
A Vacant Lot
in the New Community
AVAILABLE BENEFIT

Eligible households will receive a vacant lot on the resettlement site. The program will support residents in identifying potential financing options to build a home on the community resettlement site.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Past permanent, primary residents displaced from the island before Aug. 28, 2012 (Hurricane Isaac), who lived in a program eligible parish at the time of the storm, currently reside in a program eligible parish and can demonstrate financial ability to build a new home.

or

Past permanent, primary residents displaced on or after Aug. 28, 2012 who currently own an off-island home.

Eligible applicants will be prioritized based on when they lived on the island.

Application period to open at a later date.

B

If properties remain after earlier portions of the program conclude, those properties will be processed in a manner consistent with CDBG requirements while taking community needs into consideration.

The graphic below provides a flowchart regarding Resettlement options based on a variety of situations and questions.