St. Paul, MN -- More than 1600 people have called the toll--free application number and so far $2,293,439 has been approved in grants and loans for disaster victims. Of that total, $1,251,839 has been approved for disaster housing grants and $1,041,600 has been approved for low--interest loans to individuals and business owners to help victims recover from damages inflicted by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding occurring between March 23 and May 29.
According to figures released by the Minnesota Division of Emergency Management (DEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), at the close of business on June 13, the following numbers of people have applied for or received assistance:
- 1,629 Total applications received
- 846 Disaster housing grants approved so far, totaling $1,251,839
- 951 SBA applications issued to homeowners/renters
- 246 SBA applications issued to business owners
- 54 SBA low--interest loans approved, totaling $1,041,600
(48 approved for homeowners/renters; 6 for business owners)
Disaster housing grants are provided to eligible victims whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the storms or flooding. Types of aid include grants for alternate rental housing, emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable, and mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the primary source of federal funds for long--term disaster recovery for owners of private property, including homeowners, renters, non--farm businesses of all sizes and private non--profit organizations. SBA officials urge applicants to complete their loan paperwork as soon as possible, even if they have not received a final settlement from their insurance company. If the loan application is not returned it will delay other forms of disaster assistance.
Disaster Assistance Only A Phone Call Away
Individuals, families, and business owners who suffered losses in the declared counties should apply for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll--free number, 1 800 462--9029 (TTY 1 800 462--7585).
"Your phone call is your application for state and federal assistance available under the disaster declaration. Telephone application has proven to be the simplest, quickest and most efficient way to apply," FEMA federal coordinating officer Jim Roche said.
If you have already applied for assistance, but want to check on the status of your application or update your current information, you can call the toll--free Helpline number 1 800 525--0321 (TTY 1 800 462--7585). All lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Voluntary agencies and faith groups are also sponsoring a toll--free number 1 800 987--0061 for unmet disaster--related needs. The phone staff will provide information, referrals, and advocacy for additional recovery resources in the caller's local area.
Two SBA Workshops to Remain Open
Two U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) workshops in Lakeland and Red Wing will remain open until further notice to assist applicants with information about the disaster loan program and offer assistance in completing their SBA applications. Hours are 10:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. SBA originally opened nine workshops throughout the state, with seven completing operations this week.
Lower St Croix Fire Department
1520 S. St. Croix Trail
National Guard Armory
885 E. 7th Street