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Biloxi, MS, United States, 2006/09/07 - A new program being rolled-out on the Gulf Coast will enable many homeowners to finally begin rebuilding a year after Hurricane Katrina. The Total Action Team program allows homeowners to act as their own contractors, stretching rebuilding dollars.
A new program, offered on the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast for the first time anywhere, will help homeowners jump start rebuilding their homes damaged or destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.
Descriptively called Total Action Teams, the program is being rolled out as tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents begin receiving long-awaited federal homeowner grants. The grants, up to $150,000, will help those lacking adequate insurance coverage to rebuild their damaged homes a year after Hurricane Katrina wreaked massive destruction across the region.
The concept of the new program is simple: Total Action Teams empower home and business owners to take advantage of state laws that allow property owners to act as their own contractors. By providing owners with all the labor and skills needed to renovate, repair, or rebuild a home or business, Total Action Teams save them much of the cost of hiring a contractor.
“Cost savings, which are key to many homeowners, are just one of the advantages of the Total Action Team concept,” said Frank Yacenda, head of Biloxi-based Gulfstaff LLC and originator of the Total Action Team concept. “Total Action Teams will enable many homeowners to get their rebuilding projects off the ground now and not have to wait months for a contractor. But perhaps more than anything, they give residents control over their rebuilding projects.”
The Total Action Team approach offers the home or business owner the security of knowing that all program workers are legal and are covered by Workers' Compensation, unemployment insurance, and liability protection. All the homeowner has to do is tell the teams what needs to be done and sign the time sheets at the end of the week.
“We are here on the Gulf Coast and accountable to our clients. A homeowner can progress a job at a pace that suits him or her and within the available funds. Work is pay-as-you-go, and in most cases we can have teams on the job in a matter of days, or less,” Yacenda said.
Mississippi has an estimated 17,000 families currently eligible for homeowner grants, with a total program value of some $3 billion. Louisiana's share, administered under the state's Road Home program, is even larger at more than $8 billion and potentially benefiting upward of 90,000 homeowners. Combined with an added $800 million that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has requested, federal homeowner rebuilding funds in the two states will total nearly $12 billion.
“The value of homeowner assistance is enormous, but even the amount allocated will fall far short of the total damages wreaked on Gulf Coast housing by hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” Yacenda notes. “A program like Total Action Teams enables homeowners to stretch their rebuilding dollars and perhaps complete projects that would not be feasible utilizing contractors.”
Gulfstaff initially anticipates in excess of $60 million in new business from the program. Acknowledging that Total Action Teams will not address all problems, the company says if it can assist even a fraction of the region's homeowners it will help advance the massive job remaining.
Total Action Teams is a trade name of Gulfstaff LLC (gulfstaff.com), a Mississippi company and wholly owned operating unit of Alpha Opportunities International, Inc., of Cheyenne, Wyo. The company provides temporary and permanent employee placement, executive search services, and payroll and employee leasing services to employers of all sizes. Gulfstaff LLC is located at 2434 Pass Road, Suite E, Biloxi, Miss.