New York, NY -- Help may be available for New Jersey homeowners and renters facing mortgage foreclosure or eviction because of economic hardship directly related to the World Trade Center (WTC) attack, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced.
FEMA's Mortgage and Rental Assistance (MRA) program provides financial assistance to disaster victims about to lose their primary residence through eviction or foreclosure as a direct result of financial hardship caused by the WTC attack.
"During difficult times, the last thing people need to worry about is losing their homes," said Peter Martinasco, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. "We urge people to call for help as soon as they get a letter warning of foreclosure or eviction. There's no need to go it alone."
"People won't be able to move on with their lives until their basic needs are addressed," said Lt. Edward O'Neil, state coordinating officer- New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. "That's why this type of assistance is available, so people can get help if serious housing issues occur moths after the WTC attacks."
Residents can apply for assistance following written notice of the intent to evict or foreclose. If eligible, homeowners and renters may continue to receive MRA for up to 18 months from the date of the emergency declaration. Applicants will be asked to prove they suffered economic hardship as a direct result of the WTC attack and to support their claim with documentation.
New Jersey applicants may be eligible for MRA if their employment was directly affected by the damages at the WTC impact zone. Additionally, if any member of an affected household is a United States Citizen or a Qualified Alien, the household may be eligible for this assistance.
To apply for MRA, call the FEMA toll-free registration line at 1-800-462-9029. People who are speech- or hearing-impaired may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
New Jerseyans who were victimized by the WTC attacks receive multiple service assistance, including FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at the State "Family Assistance Center" (FAC) in Liberty State Park (exit C-14 off the Turnpike). To contact FAC service providers, call toll-free 866-652-7474 (866-NJ CRISIS), 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.