Sante Fe, NM -- The first 43 families will move into temporary mobile homes at the Los Alamos County Fairgrounds in Los Alamos on Tuesday, June 27. For safety reasons, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will complete installation of mobile homes in an entire section before FEMA begins moving in families.
The Corps, working under FEMA's direction, began work on the Los Alamos County Fairgrounds site June 3. Up to 114 units will be placed there for families whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by the fire. The Corps expects to have all homes installed by early July. Fire victims can occupy mobile homes for up to18 months, or until they make permanent housing arrangements.
Disaster victims who have registered with FEMA but have been unable to find a place to live should call the disaster Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or go to the Los Alamos County Joint Services Center and speak with a FEMA representative.
As of Monday morning, a total of 3,255 fire victims have called to apply for federal and state disaster assistance. Of that total, 3,045 registrations were from Los Alamos County.
The number of disaster housing checks has reached 448 for a total of $443,964 as of June 22. These checks have been sent to individuals and families affected by the New Mexico forest fires for disaster-related housing needs. Of the 448 checks, 223 were for rental assistance, funds to help victims rent another place to live while rebuilding their fire-damaged property. Sixty-eight were for emergency home repairs, which helps pay for fixing the home so the family can continue to live in it while permanent repairs are made. A total of 157 checks for $33,122 were for temporary hotel accommodations.
Checks continue to be disbursed from the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program. To date, 104 checks have been sent to individuals and families totaling $260,327. The average check was $2,500.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 225 loans for a total of $13,104,900. Of that number, 186 loans were for home and personal property losses totaling $11,811,300. Twenty loans were approved for business losses for a total of $1,121,300. An additional 19 economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) were approved. They totaled 172,300. EIDL loans help businesses that lost operating revenue as a result of the fires.
President Clinton declared New Mexico a major disaster area for 12 counties on May 13. Nine others were added on May 16 bringing the total to 21 counties eligible for Individual Assistance. Individual Assistance helps homeowners, renters and businesses recover from losses caused by the severe forest fires between May 5 and June 9. Designated counties are Bernalillo, Chaves, Cibola, DeBaca, Dona Ana, Eddy, Guadalupe, Lincoln, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos and Torrance.
People affected by the forest fires can still apply for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029. The hearing- or speech-impaired with TTY equipment can call 1-800-462-7585. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.