OWENSBORO, Ky. -- Individuals and families whose homes were damaged or destroyed as a result of last week's tornadoes and flash flooding may be eligible for disaster housing assistance, according to Director W.R. Padgett of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KyEM).
Padgett, the official designated by Gov. Paul Patton to coordinate the state's response and recovery programs with the federal and local governments, said the top priority is to see that every disaster victim in the three counties---Crittenden, Daviess and Webster-is in safe, secure and livable housing.
Administered by FEMA with state participation, the disaster-housing program provides two types of assistance. Included are rental assistance, available to tenants or homeowners whose residences were destroyed or severely damaged; and direct grants, designed for emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable.
"These grants aren't intended to restore a home to its pre-disaster condition, and they can't be used for cosmetic repairs or for residences covered by insurance," added Scott Wells, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official who is Padgett's counterpart in the disaster recovery effort.
"To qualify for a limited home repair grant, the applicant must be an owner-occupant and the home must be the primary residence," Padgett explained. "Temporary housing assistance also is available to renters," he added.
Wells said that in order to determine qualification for disaster housing assistance, the storm victim must first register by calling FEMA's toll-free hot line number, 1-800-462-9029. Persons with hearing or speech impediments should call another toll-free number, TTY 1-800-462-7585.