Renters eligible for federal disaster aid

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

Most people in areas affected by the tornados know about FEMA, but officials want people to know that you do not have to be a homeowner for federal assistance.

"Disaster assistance is for renters, homeowners, and business owners, so we urge everybody to apply," said FEMA Public Information Officer Mary Margaret Walker.

Renters are eligible for assistance with temporary housing as well as assistance to replace items that were destroyed.

"We can also help with personal property items that are necessary like tools and equipment that people need to have replaced because it's necessary for their work," said Walker.

Small Business Administration loans are also available for renters.

"People say 'I'm not a small business why are they sending me this,' and they toss that application. That's a critical mistake," said SBA Public Affairs Specialist Greg Dawson.

SBA officials say the number one mistake people make is not applying for the loans, but they say if you do not apply all FEMA assistance stops there.

"Renters can borrow up to $40,000, and that's to replace goods lost to include automobiles," said Dawson.

If your application for a loan is turned down, it is sent back to FEMA for additional grant consideration.

"Do not disqualify yourself by not applying," said Dawson.

Officials encourage people to visit the disaster recovery center in their area for any additional questions.

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