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FEMA's Disaster Housing Program and SBA Assist Those in Need

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Release date: 
July 1, 2002
Release Number: 

Tempe, AZ -- The Arizona Division of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) want to assure a safe place to live for those who have been displaced by the Arizona wildfires.

FEMA?s Disaster Housing Program helps renters and homeowners whose primary residences were damaged or destroyed, or who face displacement from their homes because of disaster-related income loss.

Types of assistance available may include:

  • Rental Assistance -- Covers limited apartment or rental costs for homeowners and renters who cannot or should not live in their homes because of the disaster.

  • Disaster Home Repair Assistance -- Provides grants to homeowners for minor but necessary disaster-related repairs to make home livable. These grants are an alternative to rental assistance.

  • Disaster Mortgage and Rental Assistance -- Provides emergency mortgage and rental payments to eligible homeowners and renters facing foreclosure or eviction because they have lost their employment income.

For those who found it necessary to leave their homes during the fires, assistance may be available. If you are back in your home and incurred lodging expenses while out of home, or if you are still out of your home, call the FEMA registration line. Each situation is unique and is handled on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes low interest loans to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses of all sizes may borrow up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

Small businesses may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $1.5 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses, which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Eligibility for these working capital loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. Small businesses may need these working capital loans to help pay their fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and the other bills that can?t be paid because of the disaster's impact. SBA loans are the main source of long-time recovery.

"We realize the anguish of those who have been misplaced from their homes. These people need assistance," State Coordinating Officer Mike Austin, said. "Calling the toll-free registration number is the first step in seeking help which may include temporary disaster housing assistance."

People are encouraged to register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with hearing- or speech- impairments may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. You may call from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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