Ida puts more stress on the housing market as more people in Los Angeles try to rebuild homes

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WAFB) – The mess caused by Hurricane Ida appears to be a never-ending process.

“I’ve talked to a few people who have a hard time getting people to come in just to assess the damage because everyone is calling everyone they can,” Erika Hilgenkamp said.

Like many others, Hilgenkamp lost most of her fence and a few shingles on her roof, but she said it was not as easy to bring in a contractor to fix these issues.

“I knew it was going to be a long wait because everyone’s fence had fallen. So I just asked who was available when and how much it was going to cost and to compare prices, ”Hilgenkamp added.

She said she reached out to several contractors, with some telling her it would take a long time to get the materials in, that they would be expensive or that they just couldn’t get out because they were too busy. This is because the housing industry has not fully recovered from the supply chain and labor shortages caused by the pandemic.

“The factories blame the pandemic, COVID, and they said they had shut down for a while,” said Billy Ward. “We are talking to some of the factories, which are really trying to operate 24/7 to catch up on these materials.”

Ward, owner of Champion Builders, said that since Hurricane Ida more people need materials just to rebuild their homes. The only problem is finding someone to do it at a reasonable price.

“Now you’re talking about putting the recovery in a front crawl, not even being able to finish the outside of the house because you don’t have a window,” Ward explained.

Some contractors, like Ward, are working with the National Association of Home Builders to see if they can fix part of that supply chain, but also help Louisiana in the recovery process.

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