PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- To date, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved disaster housing assistance grants amounting to $13 million for 6,212 households in the nine declared counties that suffered flooding due to Hurricane Floyd.
"One of the agency's main objectives during a major disaster is to get people into livable housing as soon as possible," said Federal Coordinating Officer Peter Martinasco of FEMA. "Our Temporary Disaster Housing grant program serves that need."
Housing grants may be awarded for one of three reasons:
- To cover the cost of alternate housing for homeowners or renters whose dwelling is unlivable due to Hurricane Floyd.
- To fund essential emergency repairs that make a homeowner's disaster-damaged residence livable.
- Or, to avoid foreclosure or eviction for those who have lost employment as a direct result of the disaster.
"We have moved from the response phase of this disaster and are well into the recovery stage," State Coordinating Officer Lt. Edward O'Neil, of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, said.
O'Neil wants residents affected by Hurricane Floyd to know there are numerous disaster assistance programs available. "We encourage people to visit one of the Disaster Recovery Centers and benefit from a disaster assistance program that works for them in their recovery efforts," he said.
Agencies and organizations located at the Disaster Recovery Centers include crisis counseling services, Department of Community Affairs, New Jersey Department of Labor, Department of Treasury, Department of Military & Veteran's Affairs, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Transportation, the Internal Revenue Service and the American Red Cross.
"These key agencies have information and benefits for those eligible for disaster assistance," Martinasco said. "There isn't one organization or program that can make anyone whole again after the damage Hurricane Floyd has done, but through a combination of resources, people can recover."
At of the close of business Thursday, Oct. 7:
- SBA has approved $3.3 million in low-interest loans to businesses, homeowners and renters.
- 100 FEMA damage inspectors are assessing residential damages. 8,231 inspections have been completed.
A total of 633 residents have visited the three Disaster Recovery Centers. The Centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday until further notice.
Locations of Centers:
- Somerville: Somerset County Building, 40 North Bridge St.
- Paramus: Bergen Regional Medical Center, 230 East Ridgewood Ave., Building 14
- Wayne: International Paper (Union Camp Corporation), 1600 Valley Road