FINDLAY, Ohio -- Federal and state disaster recovery officials announced today that more than $15 million in grants and loans have been approved for homeowners, renters and business owners in eight Ohio counties declared eligible for disaster assistance.
Most of the disaster recovery grants are issued under FEMA's Disaster Housing Program. Altogether, 3,551 households have been approved for $11.7 million, as of Wednesday night.
The funds are for homeowners and renters who cannot or should not live in their disaster-damaged homes. Only homeowners receive repair grants to make a primary residence livable. Homeowners and renters may receive rental assistance to find an alternate place to live.
The other approved grants are made under the FEMA and Ohio Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Program. Altogether, 1,420 households have been approved for $2.1 million in this program.
ONA provides grants for medical, dental, funeral costs directly. If the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) declines someone's loan application, that person may be eligible for ONA grants for personal property, transportation, moving and storage expenses and other necessary expenses and serious needs as determined by FEMA.
In its first few days of approving loan applications, the SBA has already approved 41 long-term, low-interest loans totaling $1.4 million ? primarily for homeowners. The SBA also offers loans to business of all sizes and certain non-profit organizations.
"These funds are vital to our recovery efforts," said State Coordinating Officer Nancy Dragani of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. "Putting this money in the hands of people rebuilding their homes and their lives is a benefit for everyone in the community."
Federal Coordinating Officer Jesse Munoz of FEMA said,"So far, more than 6,800 people have registered with FEMA for federal assistance. But we know from experience there are still some people out there who might be eligible but haven't registered yet. We urge those folks: Please call us."
To register or check on an application for Individual Assistance, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing- or speech-impaired. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.