NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Renters in Arkansas counties whose homes and property were damaged by the severe winter storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance, state and federal recovery officials said today.
Aid is available to residents of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Faulkner, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Little River, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties that suffered damage from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding Dec. 26, 2015 – Jan. 22, 2016.
There are federal grants that can help pay for temporary housing. These rental grants are for a 30-day period, subject to review until renters' previous homes are again livable or they find another home.
Also, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to help Arkansas renters repair or replace disaster-damaged personal property, including automobiles. Loan rates are as low as 1.813 percent; terms can be as long as 30 years and survivors may be eligible for up to $40,000, depending on their losses.
Both renters and homeowners may also be eligible for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) through FEMA. ONA helps survivors with uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster.
Other Needs Assistance can be used for:
- Disaster-related medical and dental expenses, as well as assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, communications boards and related equipment, and prescriptions;
- Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the disaster, such as room furnishings or appliances, and tools and equipment required by the self-employed for their jobs;
- Primary vehicles, approved second vehicles and modified vehicles damaged by the disaster; and
- Disaster-related funeral and burial expenses.
Eligibility for some ONA grants is determined by completing and returning the SBA application. There is no requirement to take out a loan.
The first step is to register with FEMA for assistance. To do so:
- Call 800-621-3362 (FEMA). If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
- Go to www.disasterassistance.gov.
The toll free lines operate from 7 a.m.to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
For additional information about SBA disaster loans, the loan application process, or for help completing the SBA application:
- Call 800-659-2955; persons are deaf or hard-of hearing may call (800) 877-8339
Visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster for information and to download an application.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.