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Nearly $500 Million in Federal Grants and Loans for Wildfire Survivors

Release date: 
April 18, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4407-CA NR 054

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In the months following one of the worst wildfire seasons in California history, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have approved nearly $500 million in grants and low-interest disaster loans to assist fire survivors in their recovery.

To date, FEMA has approved more than $84 million in financial assistance to more than 7,900 owners and renters in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties for temporary housing assistance. Roughly $79 million has gone to survivors in Butte County, where more than 13,000 homes were destroyed by the Camp Fire. Most of those survivors have found an interim housing solution, using insurance payments and disaster assistance from FEMA and the SBA. FEMA continues to develop five temporary housing communities within Butte county and is currently leasing space at commercial parks across the region to provide an interim, short-term option to those survivors and impacted families.

On a broader scope, FEMA Public Assistance has obligated nearly $10 million to the following applicants: Paradise Irrigation District, the Emergency Medical Services Authority, the Town of Paradise and Butte County.

Beyond FEMA grants, the SBA has approved more than 3,600 low-interest disaster loans to California businesses and residents impacted, totaling more than $402 million.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. It funds repairs or rebuilding efforts and helps pay for replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. The loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

FEMA, in partnership with the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD), has distributed more than $1.2 million in Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to aid those who lost work or were unable to work due to the impact of the wildfires. Also, FEMA, the State of California and other external partners, continue to provide aid through programs such as Immediate Disaster Case Management, crisis counseling and CalFresh (Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – DSNAP), a State program administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

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All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

Last Updated: 
April 18, 2019 - 13:38