- Associated Press - Friday, February 17, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Federal officials have signed off on Louisiana’s plans for spending $438 million in disaster aid allocated by Congress after the March and August floods.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration released the approval letter late Thursday from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Most of the dollars are earmarked for homeowner repairs, with an estimated 4,000 households expected to benefit.

That’s only a fraction of the 112,000 homes estimated to have been damaged. The aid will go to elderly and disabled residents in low- to moderate-income households without flood insurance.

The remaining money will pay for assistance to renters and businesses.

Dollars should begin flowing by spring.

Louisiana is awaiting HUD approval to spend a second $1.2 billion aid allocation from Congress, and is seeking additional money from Washington.

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