THOMASVILLE, Ga. -- Two federal loan programs designed to help cover the cost of building home windstorm shelters, often called safe rooms, are now available to Georgia homeowners, including those rebuilding storm-damaged homes after the Valentines Day tornadoes that ripped through five southwestern Georgia counties.
Home windstorm shelters can provide protection against winds of up to 250 miles per hour and against projectiles traveling at 100 miles per hour. The construction of safe rooms is a high priority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reduce risk and potential loss of life in the event of future disasters.
A Project Impact Prevention Loan is available to all homeowners of single-family residential homes and mobile homes through authorized safe-room contractors. The competitive fixed-rate, unsecured loans can range from $1,000 to $20,000, with up to 120 months to repay. The loan program was developed by Fannie Mae, a Project Impact partner with no minimum or maximum income thresholds to obtain a loan. The loans are not secured by equity in the home. Applications for the loan program are available at authorized contractors and the paperwork takes only a few minutes to complete, with approvals slated within 24 hours.
For information in Georgia call Crown Bank, 1-888-703-0478.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will now provide Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance to enable homeowners to borrow up to $5,000 to create windstorm shelters in their homes. The HUD initiative will enable a lender to loan a homebuyer up to $5,000 more than the amount needed to buy a home, with the extra money designated to pay for the cost of installing a windstorm shelter.
Both loan plans mandate that safe room construction must meet or exceed specifications set forth in a free FEMA publication: Taking Shelter From the Storm (Pub. #320) that can be ordered by calling 1-888-565-3896.
Project Impact is a nationwide FEMA initiative, in partnership with local business and community leaders to make communities disaster-resistant.