PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- As the recovery process from severe March and April flooding nears the five-month mark, disaster assistance has surpassed $100 million for aid to individuals, businesses and local communities in the seven Commonwealth counties of Essex, Bristol, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester.
Recovery officials said that since the initial Presidential declaration for Individuals and Households Program assistance on March 29, more than $57.9 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding has been approved for 27,580 applicants. This money provides rental or repair assistance and additional grants for other serious, uninsured, disaster-related needs. Approved U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses now total $39.1 million. FEMA-funded, state-run Disaster Unemployment Assistance paid claims of $35,038 to those who suffered job losses due to the storms but who would not normally qualify for unemployment compensation.
In addition, seven Massachusetts counties were declared eligible for FEMA's Public Assistance program to help reimburse local governments, eligible state agencies and certain qualified non-profits for uninsured disaster-related infrastructure costs.
To date, 865 Public Assistance project worksheets submitted by 222 eligible applicants are in process or have been completed. Each project worksheet spells out the project purpose, cost, timeline and other information. An applicant may have a number of projects – debris removal, emergency protective services, roads, bridges, public parks, etc. Approved Public Assistance projects are funded on a cost-share basis, with FEMA funding 75 percent of the approved reimbursement and the remaining 25 percent being handled by local governments. The current obligated federal share for the March/April storms is $6.4 million. Funding goes through the Commonwealth for disbursement to local governments, state agencies and eligible non-profit organizations.
Five- month snapshot:
- As of close of business August 15, a total of 37,456 individuals, households and businesses have applied for disaster assistance.
- Assistance from FEMA's Individual and Households Program (IHP) and low-interest disaster loans from the SBA now stands at $96.1 million.
- FEMA's Individual and Households Program (IHP) provides assistance in two main categories, Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance. IHP-approved funding to 26,870 applicants totals $57,990,924.
- Housing Assistance helps pay for rental assistance, temporary lodging and housing repairs. Approved Housing Assistance funding to 26,870 homeowners and renters totals more than $55,995,716.
- Other Needs Assistance helps cover personal property loss, medical costs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance to individuals and households. Approved Other Needs Assistance funding to 4,545 individuals and households totals more than $1,995,207.
- The SBA provides disaster loans to homeowners, renters, non-profit organizations and businesses of all sizes. The SBA issued 36,361 applications for disaster loans to individuals and businesses and received 3,900 for consideration. To date, 1,882 home and business loans have been approved for $39,126,000.
- One-to-one help remains available to registered applicants through the Helpline option available at FEMA's toll-free at numbers, 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech-impaired. The Helpline, staffed by multilingual recovery specialists, is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, until further notice.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) approved 18 applicant claims in the designated counties.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a...