Toledo, OH -- Disaster assistance for flood victims in Lucas County has topped more than $4.1 million in grants and low-interest loans and more than 3,000 residents have called to apply for assistance, according to federal and state disaster officials.
Disaster housing grants totaling $3,038,646 for 1,750 applicants 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. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 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.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $1.1 million in low-interest for homeowners and renters, as well as business owners with disaster-related uninsured or under-insured losses. The total includes $977,200 for 88 loans for individuals and families and $159,300 for 14 business loans.
In addition, almost $200,000 has been approved for just 108 applicants through the Individual and Family Grants (IFG) Program, which provides a safety net for people who have exhausted all other means of assistance and still have unmet disaster-related needs. The grants are a last resort and in most cases are available only if an applicant has been denied an SBA disaster loan.
Assistance Still Just a Toll-Free Call Away
Federal and state disaster assistance is still just a toll-free call away. People in Lucas County who have been affected by the storms and flooding, which occurred July 29 to August 2, are encouraged to apply by calling 800-462-9029 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The number for hearing and speech impaired is TTY 800-462-7585. Multi-lingual operators are available to take your calls.
"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.
Applicants are urged to call the FEMA Helpline at 800-525-0321 to check on the status of their application, provided updated information, or to ask questions about disaster assistance programs. Persons who are hearing or speech impaired may call the TTY Helpline at 800-462-7585 (the same as the application line). The Helpline operates from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Residents 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.
"Assistance can continue beyond the application deadline," State Coordination Office Dale Shipley said. "But victims must call and apply by October 20 to be considered for state and federal disaster assistance programs."
SBA Workshop Open to Assist with Low-Interest LoansResidents may still receive assistance at the SBA Workshop located on the first floor of Federal Building at 234 N. Summit St. The workshop is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Loan officers will be available for several weeks to provide application assistance with low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and business owners.