COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Pueblo County has been declared eligible for federal disaster assistance programs for renters, homeowners and business owners recovering from severe storms and flooding that began on April 29.
"Residents and business owners in Pueblo County who feel they have suffered losses in the recent Colorado flooding should call our toll-free number to register for assistance," said the Federal Coordinating Officer, Scott Logan. "That number is 1-800-462-9029."
Pueblo County previously was declared eligible for Public Assistance, which can provide financial assistance to municipalities to repair roads, bridges and other public facilities damaged in the storm. Under the expanded disaster declaration, assistance is now available to individuals and businesses as well.
"We are very pleased that Pueblo County is now eligible for assistance to individuals." The State Coordinating Officer, Tommy Grier commented.
Disaster Home Repair Assistance
The Disaster Home Repair Assistance program may provide grants for critical repairs that make a disaster-damaged home livable. The grants are for repairs not covered, or inadequately covered, by insurance.
"These grants are not intended to restore a home to its pre-disaster condition and cannot be used for cosmetic repairs or repairs covered by insurance," Scott Logan said, "but they can assist an owner in making repairs critical to the structure."
However, FEMA does have maximum allowable limits on Emergency Home Repair grants. If the necessary repairs exceed the repair program's limitations the homeowner is automatically referred to other assistance programs such as the Rental Assistance Program and SBA Disaster Loan program.
The Rental Assistance Program may provides grants to individuals whose homes were damaged in the disaster, when the cost to make repairs exceed FEMA's limit for the Emergency Home Repair grant program. Rental assistance covers the cost of leasing an adequate residence while repairs are made. As such, qualified homeowners receive rental assistance for three months and qualified renters receive rental assistance for two months. If they are unable to return to the home or make other permanent housing arrangements it is also possible to request a Rental Assistance extension.
While FEMA's Disaster Home Repair and Rental Assistance programs are limited in scope to emergency housing, the SBA has a Disaster Loan program to help people complete their disaster recovery.
SBA Disaster Loans
To help with losses not covered by insurance or the Emergency Home Repair program, the SBA offers low-interest disaster relief loans to individuals and businesses. This is the primary funding source for recovery from uninsured and underinsured losses suffered during federally- declared disasters. SBA loans can be used to cover both loss of personal property, machinery and equipment, and real estate.
Individual and Family Grant Program
If an individual does not qualify for a SBA loan they will be automatically referred to the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program, which may be able to provide assistance for necessary disaster-related expenses and serious needs. These grants may be used to assist with disaster-related expenses such as critical home repairs, replacement of essential personal property, transportation, or the rental of equipment to assist with recovery. Grants may also be available for items not normally covered under the SBA Disaster Loan programs, such as disaster-related medical and dental bills.
Residents and business owners in Pueblo county who believe they have suffered losses in the flooding are urged to call FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-462-9029 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech and hearing impaired.