BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The rebuilding of Alabama in the aftermath of April’s tornadoes will require some longer-term solutions.
More than $38.2 million has been disbursed to assist disaster survivors with temporary housing through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Temporary housing units are being placed throughout the impacted area, and twice as many await placement in the wake of 64 tornadoes that devastated entire neighborhoods and businesses.
FEMA assists in making the home safe and sanitary, and fills gaps in insurance coverage. While this helps, there remains a need for longer term, permanent solutions.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency and FEMA are coordinating the recovery with city, county and state officials. There are federal partners offering help, which have longer-term programs survivors may not be aware of.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and the U.S. Veterans Administration all have resources that address survivors’ permanent needs.
U.S. Small Business Administration
The SBA has already approved more than $35.5 million in low-interest disaster loans for Alabama homeowners in the aftermath of April’s tornadoes. SBA can offer:
- Disaster loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace a primary residence, and $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or lost personal property, including automobiles.
- Interest rates as low as 2.563 percent, with terms up to 30 years.
No survivor, though, is required to take a loan.
The SBA also provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses. They may be eligible for:
- Loans up to $2 million, with interest rates as low as 4 percent. These loans may pay for the repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.
- Economic injury disaster loans up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD has placed a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of HUD homes in Alabama’s designated counties. After that time, HUD will work out arrangements with homeowners. HUD has:
- Appealed to landlords to list their vacant properties in its National Housing Locator. Homeowners and renters looking to purchase new homes can find a listing of homes at www.HUDHomeStore.com.
- The 203(H) loan program is for homeowners whose homes were destroyed. The loan offers 100 percent financing, with an interest rate as low as 4.6 percent.
- The 203(K) loan program allows homeowners to finance 96.25 percent of the pre-improved value of the home, and 120 percent of the appraised value, after the property has been repaired. The interest rate could be as low as 4.6 percent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency
The USDA’s Farm Service Agency provides assistance for losses through emergency loans to help producers recover from physical losses due to events such as tornadoes. It offers: