Houston, TX -- Only five months after President Bush declared a major disaster for the State of Texas, 118,899 residents have registered for assistance and $970 million in federal and state disaster assistance has been provided to affected families and businesses.
This includes $177.9 million to help with temporary housing costs and $380.7 million in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans. The state also has disbursed $227.1 million in grants for essential disaster-related needs unmet by other assistance programs.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has approved $68.7 million in federal funds to help pay for acquiring 1,026 substantially damaged homes.
"We are a long way from being finished with providing assistance to those affected by Tropical Storm Allison," said Scott Wells, federal coordinating officer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "The $970 million figure will continue to escalate until all applicants have received compensation for eligible damages."
Butch Smith, state coordinating officer, Division of Emergency Management (DEM), Texas Department of Public Safety, was quick to express his appreciation to "both state and federal personnel for the true cooperation displayed in getting assistance to those displaced by Allison."
Following is a brief description of FEMA and the State of Texas' disaster assistance programs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Housing Assistance Program helps people who are unable to live in their homes because of damage or other disaster-related reasons. More than $177.9 million in grants have been approved for 88,000 households to assist them with rental housing and minor home repairs.
Individual And Family Grant (IFG) Program
The IFG program provides funds for the necessary expenses and serious needs of disaster victims that cannot be met through other forms of disaster assistance, or through other means such as insurance. Among eligible categories are essential home repairs, replacement of personal property, and transportation. The program is administered by the State and is funded 75 percent by FEMA and 25 percent by local sources. State officials have disbursed $227.1 million for IFG grants for more than 46,000 households.
U.S. Small Business Administration
SBA is the primary source of federal funds for long-term disaster recovery for homeowners, renters, non-farm businesses and private non-profit organizations. These low-interest disaster loans cover costs of repair or replacement of damaged real estate, personal property and business assets not fully covered by insurance or other aid.
More than $380.7 million has been approved in SBA loans. This total represents $324.9 million in loans to individuals and more than $55.8 million in loans to businesses.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
DUA is available through the Texas Workforce Commission for those who lost income because of the disaster, including farmers, farm workers, migrant farm workers, and other self-employed individuals. As of November 9, some 1,664 claims have been approved and more than $808,000 disbursed in unemployment assistance.
Public Assistance (PA)
The PA program provides funds to eligible municipalities, public agencies and qualified non-profit organizations for approved costs of disaster related debris removal, emergency protective measures, road repairs, repair of water control facilities, and restoration of buildings, utilities and recreational facilities. More than $114 million has been approved (75 percent paid by FEMA) for all projects, including debris cleanup and emergency protective measures.
If residents who have al...