Santa Fe, NM -- Disaster recovery aid to individuals, businesses and local governments affected by the New Mexico forest fires has topped $13 million dollars one months after the disaster declaration, disaster recovery officials announced today. The total stands at $13,068,961, according to federal and state disaster recovery officials.
Disaster Housing Assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued 394 disaster housing checks for a total of $413,828 as of June 14. These checks went to individuals and families for disaster-related housing needs.
Of the 394 checks, 221 were for rental assistance, funds to help victims rent another place to live while rebuilding their fire-damaged property. Fifty-one were for emergency home repairs, which helps pay for fixing the home so the family can continue to live in it during permanent repairs. A total of 122 checks were for temporary hotel accommodations. Additional assistance continues to be sent out as verification inspections are completed.
As of Wednesday morning, a total of 3,155 fire victims registered for federal and state disaster assistance. Of that total, 2,958 registrations were from Los Alamos County.
Individual and Family Grants. This state-administered program has approved 90 checks for a total of $236,824 . The grants help disaster victims who do not qualify for an SBA disaster loan. Grants may be used to cover disaster-related expenses such as essential home repairs, replacement of personal property, clothing, household items, furnishings and appliances, transportation or renting equipment. They may also be used for expenses such as medical and dental bills, funeral costs and disaster debris removal.
In most cases, grants are available only if an applicant has been denied a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Applicants who are issued a loan application must complete the form and turn it in if they want to be considered for a grant. If the SBA determines that an applicant cannot afford a disaster loan, they will then be considered for the grant program.
The state administers the program based on national eligibility criteria. The Federal Emergency Management Agency funds 75 percent of the costs with the remaining 25 percent coming from the state. The grants do not have to be repaid, but grant recipients must keep their receipts.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance. The New Mexico Department of Labor has approved 81 claims for disaster unemployment compensation. To date, a total of $12,784 has been disbursed. Disaster Unemployment Assistance extends unemployment coverage to the self-employed, such as farmers, who lost work because of a declared disaster.
Registrations. A total of 3,192 individuals and businesses have registered for federal and state disaster aid. Los Alamos County accounts for 2,992 of those registrations. The disaster Helpline has received 1,344 calls for information or to update information on applications.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA has approved a total of 184 low-interest disaster loans for a total of $10,798,200. Of that number, 155 were for homes and personal property. The loans total $10,039,200. Also included are 17 loans for business losses, totaling $671,300 and 12 Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses totaling $87,700.
Public Assistance. The Public Assistance program has so far disbursed $1,607,325 to state and local governments. All the funds disbursed so far were for emergency protective measures, costs incurred by government agencies such as fire fighting costs, police overtime and controlling access to areas threatened by the forest fires. Although the program is administered by the state of New Mexico, FEMA reimburses 75 percent of the eligible costs, with the state and local governments picking up the remaining 25 percent.