SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- December freeze disaster victims who are facing property foreclosure or eviction from their California homes have one month remaining to register for help, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES). The deadline to apply for mortgage and rental assistance (MRA) is Monday, August 9, 1999.
MRA was one of several assistance programs activated following President Clinton's February 9 disaster declaration. By helping with mortgage or rent payments, it is aimed at preventing the eviction of homeowners or renters because of income or job loss resulting from disasters. Temporary-housing assistance is also available for persons displaced from their homes because of the freeze.
Eight counties have been designated as freeze disaster areas: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Monterey, Tulare, and Ventura.
Nearly 6,000 individuals have registered with FEMA for mortgage and rental help. To date, $5.7 million have been provided to eligible MRA applicants.
People with foreclosure or eviction difficulties because of the severe freeze of December 20-28, 1998, and who live or work in any of the designated counties, are encouraged to register for help by calling, toll-free: 1-800-745-0243 (TTY, 1-800-462-7585, for those with speech or hearing impairments). The lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, California time. Multilingual FEMA representatives are available to assist in Spanish and other non-English languages.