Contact In State, Groups, People, Agencies

FAQ#: 108 published 3-25-2019

 

Start your Long Term Recovery process by learning what federal and state services are offered after a declared disaster.

  • FEMA
  • Volunteer Groups
  • SBA (Business and Homeowner loans)
  • Volunteer Groups
  • HUD Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR)
  • Family, neighbors, friends.
You are going to hear about IA (Individual Assistance) and IHP (Individual Household Program and ONA (Other Needs Assistance).

IA (Individual Assistance)
Taking the event order you will be offered a small amount of grant money if any for IA. This is a safe grant and will not be used against you later as long as it is for rental or during the time you were suffering and that is during the disaster. If you lost your home or apartment this IA grant may pay for Hotels, Apartments, or other shelter directly. What they give you in form of a check is to cover your time between the disaster and when you get into a rental agreement that they will pay directly. Take the IA money.

  • IA Housing Needs
    • Temporary Housing (a place to live for a limited period of time): Financial assistance may be available to homeowners or renters to rent a temporary place to live. If no rental properties are available, a government housing unit may be provided, but only as a last resort.
    • Lodging Expenses Reimbursement: Reimbursement of hotel expenses for homeowners or renters may be available for short periods of time due to inaccessibility or utility outage if not covered by insurance or any other program.

IHP (Individual Household Program)
This is where we say think before you accept anything. If it's a grant you receive this money can only be used on repairing your home. But, if your home is a Manufactured home this money will count against you for later grants. Also, if you purchase appliances, furniture, hot water heater, bedding, clothes you will be penalized for those purchases later. This is to make your home safe to live in but also doesn't not count as funds for rebuilding as your home was prior to the disaster. You must understand that every dollar of IHP will be counted against you with other programs so you must spend that money you have recieved only on items that other programs will not offer you grant money for or toward the final repairs of your home.
More Information and Resources.

  • IHP Housing Needs
    • Temporary Housing (a place to live for a limited period of time): Financial assistance may be available to homeowners or renters to rent a temporary place to live. If no rental properties are available, a government housing unit may be provided, but only as a last resort.
    • Lodging Expenses Reimbursement: Reimbursement of hotel expenses for homeowners or renters may be available for short periods of time due to inaccessibility or utility outage if not covered by insurance or any other program.
    • Repair: Financial assistance may be available to homeowners to repair disaster-caused damage to their primary residence that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary, or fit to occupy.
      • Note: IHP Grants to repair your home are for the structure only. You can not purchase vehicles, kitchen appliances, kitchen cabinets, tables, chairs or other furniture. You can not purchase hot water heaters or bathroom fixtures. The IHP Grants are to make your home or part of your home safe but they do not include anything like a new microwave. Basically it's Windows, Walls, Doors and clean your floor. Everything else will be deducted from grants down the sequence of deliver which may or may not be a deduction from your grant but rather a debt that has to be repaid before additional grant money is awarded.
    • Replacement: Financial assistance may be available to homeowners to replace their home destroyed in the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to help the homeowner with the cost of replacing their destroyed home.
    • Permanent or Semi-Permanent Housing Construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of help occurs only in insular areas or other locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible.

Read our two part series on what IHP Grants can be used for.

ONA (Other Needs Assistance)
To date we have not had any reports of anyone being awarded ONA grants which can be used for anything from clothing to vehciles. We do know that nearly everyone that lost a vehicle was told if you applied to the SBA and were "Declined" by the SBA FEMA may award you the ONA. We find this FALSE based on the fact that the SBA will qualify you for collateral loans and if you own a home even with a mortgage they will create you an approved loan amount that will disqualify you from any ONA grant. This grant is not actually my opinion worth applying for because FEMA requires you to apply for a SBA loan first. More information and resources.

NOTICE: FEMA will tell you that you will have to apply for the SBA Disaster Loan to be qualified for ONA Grant money. The only way to be awarded ONA Grant money from FEMA is to be declined by the SBA which only happens under extreme or adverse conditions. 1. You are a known terrorist or enemy of the state and country. 2. You are in prison. 3. Your household has no verifiable income. 4. You are dead. 

SBA Disaster Loan Program (By default we say NO to any SBA loan application.)
Be very careful and be aware of the risks you are about to take when you are asked or told to apply for an SBA Disaster Loan. These are LOANS and NOT GRANTS. These are not Business Loans that are forgiven after 5 to 7 years. These are loans which the SBA will offer you even if you have no created an income of $18,090 Net per year as long as you have collateral or assets they will approve you a loan. 

  • Those that are below the 80% AMI for your area should NOT apply for the SBA disaster loan. 
  • Those between 80% and 120% should seek only local lenders for any short term rebuilding loans or non at all.
  • Those over 120% will be paying market interest rates so it doesn't help to apply to the SBA either. Look to local lenders to borrow money.

In all cases and all income levels it is important to calculate your recovery funds and your ability to acquire conventional loans, borrow from family, friends, draw from your retirement saves, etc. Once you select an SBA loan even if you do not take the money but you have executed the loan and then backed out or cancelled the loan that money will be used against you as available disaster recovery funds later when you are offered HUD CDBG-DR grants. We have many homeowners that are willing to share their experiences with you directly about the SBA loan process. Most will tell you to seek other assistance and avoid the application process of the SBA Disaster Loan program completely. Read what a 35 year retired OCD-DRU director has to say about the program and take the words seriously. Say No to the SBA Loan, read more.

We are homeowners, renters, victims of disasters that thought the federal system was here to help us. We were wrong, the shock were all were in because of the disaster blinded us and with that in mind I want to tell you personally that it has taken more than one year to even reach the point of understanding what we needed to do for our disaster recovery. We are still living in a RV 2 years after the disaster and still fighting the federal and state disaster recovery people over every penny we are qualified to receive.
No one plans on disasters because we have federal, state and local government employees we pay to handle these matters. We expected them to tell us from the first day what to do. What we have learned was nothing short of everything FUBAR. Many lost thousands over policy that has not business even being in a disaster relief or disaster recovery program while others were lied to and suffer today a debt burden they would have never had if our local elected officials and paid government employees would have advised us with the correct information. Even news media outlets from local services failed to pass the information about how to recover which they all hand in hand.

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