Greeneville, TN -- Individuals and families whose homes were damaged or destroyed as a result of the recent severe storms and flooding may be eligible for disaster housing assistance, according to Gracia Szczech, FEMA's federal coordinating officer.
"Our top priority is to make sure that everyone is in safe, secure and livable housing," Szczech said. "The disaster housing program is designed to provide quick assistance to those whose homes were made unlivable because of the storms."
Administered and funded by FEMA, the disaster-housing program provides two major types of assistance. Rental assistance is available to owners or tenants whose homes were destroyed or substantially damaged so they can have a place to live while repairs are being made. Grants for limited home repairs are available to homeowners for emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable until more extensive repairs can be made. Examples of emergency work could include essential repairs to electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems, as well as general carpentry to make a home safe and habitable.
"These grants are not intended to restore a home to its pre-disaster condition and cannot be used for cosmetic repairs or repairs covered by insurance," said John D. White Jr., the state official in charge of the disaster recovery effort. "To qualify for a limited home repair grant, the applicant must be an owner-occupant and the home must be the primary residence."
Housing assistance is one of the programs available to Tennessee residents in Carter, Cocke, Greene, Johnson, Shelby, Unicoi and Washington counties as a result of the disaster declaration issued by President Bush following the storms and flooding which occurred during the July 27 through August 22 period.
Anyone who sustained storm or flood damage or losses, and lives or works in a disaster-declared county, should register for disaster assistance by calling the toll-free hotline, 1-800-462-9029(1-800-462-7585for the hearing impaired).