Moorhead, MN -- Financial assistance for home repair is arriving in the mailboxes of many of the nearly 3,000 Minnesota residents who have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for help since the June floods. For homeowners, these funds help return the structure to a safe and sanitary condition, allowing individuals to safely reoccupy their homes.
"It is important that you make your home safe and sanitary as soon as you can," said Ron Sherman, deputy federal coordinating officer for the disaster recovery. "We've had some recipients delaying repairs because they think they may be eligible for a so-called 'buyout' program, but these programs are handled on the state and local level and can take months before a decision is even made," Sherman added.
With the housing check, recipients receive a letter detailing what types of repairs are covered. Receipts should be retained in case FEMA or the State of Minnesota later conduct an audit.
"We urge disaster victims to make repairs immediately. Don't move into an unsafe situation," said Sherman. "Get the required permits, get the repairs done and move back into your home. Give yourself time to make the longer term decisions."
Only FEMA disaster-housing assistance is discussed in the letter. However, recipients may also qualify for additional help, such as crisis counseling, low-interest loans, disaster unemployment assistance, legal assistance and grant for serious needs not met by other government agencies or voluntary organizations.