Toledo, OH -- More than $1.6 million in disaster housing grants and low-interest loans have already been approved for some of the almost 2,000 Lucas County residents who have called to apply for federal and state disaster assistance. President Clinton declared Lucas County a major disaster area on August 21st. So far 1967 applications have been taken to assist storm and flood disaster victims.
Disaster Housing grants totaling $1,517,714 for 821 victims have been approved. These grants are available to individuals and families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the storms and flooding. These grants may cover temporary rental assistance, emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable or reimbursement for repairs that have already been completed, and mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship. An additional $129,000 was also approved for seven low-interest home loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
People who have been affected are encouraged to call 800-462-9029 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week to apply for federal and state disaster assistance programs. The number for hearing and speech impaired is TTY 800-462-7585. Multi-lingual operators are available to take your calls.
"Even if you previously called the city, county or local volunteer agency to report your damage during the flooding, you must call the FEMA toll-free number to apply for state and federal assistance programs now that a presidential declaration has been issued," said Lou Botta, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer. "Applying by phone is a quick and efficient way to help those who need it."
Voluntary Agencies Continue Assistance Hotline
Flood victims may still contact local voluntary agencies by calling 246-4636 if they have unmet needs. Volunteers are still available to assist with such disaster-related needs as cleaning and debris removal, home repairs, furniture and clothing needs, counseling, furnace or hot heater minor repairs, and emergency food requests. They can also provide transportation for seniors or those with special needs to one of the two FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
Disaster Victims Visit New Disaster Recovery Center
Flood victims now have a second Disaster Recovery Center available to answer questions about the variety of federal and state disaster assistance programs. Opened on Thursday, the new center is located inside the North Towne Square to serve victims of the recent storms and flooding. The center is located at 343 New Towne Square Dr. (near Pearle Vision).
More than 100 individuals and families have visited the two centers this week. The initial recovery center is located in the Federal Building (First Floor) at 234 N. Summit St. Both centers will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. through Saturday. They will be closed on Sunday and Labor Day (Monday, September 4) and reopen on Tuesday.
Ohio EMA State Coordinating Officer Dale Shipley explained that those who have applied for assistance may visit either Disaster Recovery Center if they have questions regarding programs and services available to eligible applicants. Those programs include disaster housing grants, low-interest loans for repair, replacement or rebuilding of disaster-damaged property, grants for serious immediate needs resulting from the disaster that cannot be met by other sources and/or technical assistance on common-sense measures to reduce future disaster risks.
After calling to apply, disaster victims may visit one of the centers if they have questions about the application process or just wish to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists. Representatives of local, state and federal agencies, as well as volunteer agencies will be on ha...