BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Renters in 12 Vermont counties with losses due to Tropical Storm Irene are eligible for federal disaster assistance.
"Irene did not discriminate between homeowners and renters," said Federal Coordinating Officer Craig Gilbert, leader of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's mission in Vermont. "We're here to help everyone who is eligible for assistance -- and that definitely includes renters."
Renters who were displaced from their homes by the storm may be eligible for a FEMA grant to help them pay rent for temporary housing. These rental grants are for a limited period until renters' previous homes are again habitable or they find another home.
FEMA maintains a list of rentals in the affected counties that is accessible on the FEMA housing portal, go.usa.gov/0fl. A list of rentals may also be obtained by calling FEMA's helpline, 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585.
FEMA also provides grants to renters for a variety of serious disaster-related losses, including:
- Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the disaster, such as furnishings or appliances;
- Replacement or repair of tools and equipment required by students or the self-employed for their work;
- Replacement or repair of vehicles damaged by the disaster;
- Moving and storage expenses; and
- Disaster-related medical and dental expenses.
If renters have personal property losses not covered by insurance or FEMA grants, they may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Following a disaster, SBA loans are not only for small businesses, but also for renters, homeowners, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations. Renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
Some who register with FEMA will be mailed an SBA loan application that they did not request. They should complete and return the application even if they don't want a loan. Doing so may open the door to additional FEMA grants that are possible only after an SBA loan application is submitted. These include grants for replacement of personal property, moving and storage expenses and transportation costs. No one is required to accept a loan.
To register with FEMA call 800-621-FEMA (3362), online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via a web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly; or 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice, and multilingual assistance is available.
Additional information about SBA's low-interest disaster loans may be obtained by calling 800-659-2955, TTY 800-877-8339 or going online to www.SBA.gov. Applicants also may apply for a disaster loan online through SBA's secure web site at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Residents of 12 Vermont counties are eligible for FEMA assistance: Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585; or call 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS).
FEMA's temporary housing assistance...