Disaster Assistance Tops $4 Million for Eastern Massachusetts Counties

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Release date: 
April 27, 2001
Release Number: 

Quincy, MA -- More than $4.2 million in disaster housing assistance grants has been issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for residents of seven eastern Massachusetts counties affected by the severe storms and flooding, March 5 through April 16.

"Providing housing assistance for storm victims continues to be our top priority," Federal Coordinating Officer Louis H. Botta said. Checks have been written to more than 2,500 applicants. "We encourage anyone who suffered damage from these storms to apply," Botta added.

The following is a summary of the ongoing state/federal response and recovery programs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the close of business April 26.

  • Since the disaster declaration on April 10, a total of 3,496 flood victims have registered for assistance through FEMA's toll-free registration line.

  • There have been 3,226 applications for disaster housing assistance, both rental assistance and minimal repair. Of those, 2,569 have been approved thus far for a total of $4,232,363.

  • Of the inspections issued for the Housing Program, almost 90% have been completed.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 43 disaster loans for a total of $472,400. The first checks were issued on Tuesday, April 17, seven days after the Presidential disaster declaration.

  • To further aid storm victims, two Disaster Recovery Centers opened on Tuesday, April 24. These temporary centers are designed to provide information to those who have already applied for assistance through the toll-free number and may have further questions. Homeowners, renters and business owners who prefer face to face contact with disaster assistance specialists can come to these centers. Representatives of state, federal and voluntary agencies are present, including loan officers from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The centers are located in:

    • Woburn, 229 Main Street (Route 38) in the E-Z Way Center

    • Lawrence, 160 Winthrop Ave. (route 114) in the Stadium Plaza Mall

Other centers are being considered.

Applicants with questions can also call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.

  • Community Relations teams are working in all seven designated counties to identify needs and answer questions.

The disaster housing program provides several types of assistance. Homeowners or renters whose residences damaged may be eligible for rental assistance to help pay for a place to live until permanent housing can be found. Grants for essential home repairs also are available to homeowners for basic repairs not covered by insurance. Examples of essential repairs may include those to heating and plumbing systems, as well as general carpentry to make a home safe and secure.

State Coordinating Officer and Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Stephen J. McGrail, urged residents who were affected by the flooding and haven't yet registered to call the FEMA toll-free registration number 1-800-462-9029. People with hearing or speech impairments may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Registration may be made between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., EDT, seven days a week until further notice.

"The sooner people apply, the quicker we can get them some help," McGrail said. "The goal of this disaster operation is to get people on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Registering with the American Red Cross or local emergency management officials is not enough to be considered. You must call the FEMA toll-free registration number."

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Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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