New York, NY -- One week remains for individuals, families and businesses affected by the World Trade Center attacks to register for disaster assistance programs, say recovery officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
These federal assistance programs include FEMA's Mortgage and Rental Assistance (MRA) grants and low-interest loans from the SBA for affected individuals and businesses.
Friday, January 31, 2003, is the final day registrations will be accepted for the MRA program. No new requests for aid will be accepted after that date. That date is also the deadline for submitting loan applications to the SBA for disaster-related physical or economic injury losses.
Due to the unprecedented nature of the Sept. 11 attacks and resulting physical and economic damage, FEMA extended the application deadline four times over the course of the recovery period. "We have received and carefully reviewed thousands of applications since the attack on the World Trade Center," said Federal Recovery Officer Brad Gair. "Now 16 months later, we believe that we've been successful in reaching those homeowners and renters in need of our help who have been affected by this disaster."
FEMA will continue to process and accept paperwork and supporting documentation from any applicant who has registered by the deadline. While the first step of registering must be taken by Jan. 31, applicants may be eligible for federal mortgage and rental assistance for up to 18 months from the time that eligibility is determined, depending on the applicants' financial situation and status during that time period. Additionally, people who have already registered and are currently receiving assistance through the MRA program will not be affected by the registration deadline.
The MRA program has already approved nearly $100 million is MRA grants to date, assisting more than 11,000 households in danger of losing their homes through foreclosure or eviction as a result of financial hardship caused by the attack.
Individuals and families may qualify for the Mortgage and Rental Assistance program if:
- They lived or worked in Manhattan on or before Sept. 11, 2001, or
were employed by a company economically dependent on businesses located
in Manhattan; and
- They lost at least 25% of their total household income after Sept.
11, and this income loss is apparent as of Jan. 31, 2003; and
- They or any family member in their household is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen
national or qualified alien; and
- They have received, as of Jan. 31, 2003, a late payment notice, or other evidence that they are in danger of possible eviction, foreclosure or dispossession from their primary residence.
The FEMA toll-free registration number to call is 1-800-462-9029 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Interpreter services are available to accommodate the diverse needs of all language groups in the New York metropolitan area. Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY registration number at 1-800-462-7585.
Those who have registered by the Jan. 31 deadline can continue to visit the FEMA / SBA Applicant Assistance Center in lower Manhattan beyond that date, meeting one-on-one with FEMA and SBA program representatives who will evaluate their individual needs, check on the status of their application or update their registration information. Located at 141 Worth St. (formerly the DMV Building), the Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FEMA and the SBA provide a range of assistance including grants for temporary housing or emergency repair; mortgage and rent...