Toledo, OH -- In just three weeks since President Clinton issued a major disaster declaration for Lucas County on August 21, more than $3 million in disaster housing grants and low-interest loans have been approved for more than half of the 2,523 residents who have called to apply for assistance, according to state and federal officials.
Disaster Housing grants totaling $2,635,912 for 1,505 victims have been approved. These grants, which may be just the first type of assistance, are available to eligible 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 $434,000 has been approved in low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Those loans include 37 for renters and homeowners and seven for local business owners. SBA has issued more than 1,500 loan packets to flood victims, but only 320 have been submitted. If you receive an SBA loan application you should complete and return the packet as soon as possible. SBA officials pointed out that completing the application does not obligate you to take a loan, but if the packet is not returned, it may delay other forms of disaster assistance.
People who have been affected are encouraged to call 800-462-9029 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, 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. Both lines are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Downtown Recovery Center Still Available
Flood victims still have an opportunity this week to visit the Disaster Recovery Center located in the Federal Building (First Floor) at 234 N. Summit St. The temporary center is opening an hour earlier at 9 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Ohio EMA State Coordinating Officer Dale Shipley explained that those who have applied for assistance may visit the center if they have questions regarding programs and services available. 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.
Representatives of state and federal agencies will be on hand to meet face-to-face with residents to provide program and service information. There are also SBA representatives available to help applicants complete a low-interest loan application, and materials that show common-sense measures to reduce future disaster losses.
Oct. 20th Application Deadline Set for Disaster Assistance
Residents who live or work in Lucas County and suffered disaster-related losses from the storms and flooding which hit the area July 29 through August 2 have until Friday, October 20 to call and apply for disaster assistance. The deadline is 60 days after the presidential disaster declaration, which was issued on July 21.
"We encourage anyone who had losses to call to apply," FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Lou Botta said. "We hope that people won't prejudge themselves or feel that they are taking anything away from their neighbors."
Disaster assistance funds, which are non-taxable, are specifically intended to cover uninsured or under-insured losses. Residents do not have to wait until a possible insurance claim has been settled to call and apply. Assistance can continue beyond the applicatio...