Flood Relief Deadline Approaching
Posted at: 09/19/2012 4:02 PM
| Updated at: 09/19/2012 6:18 PM
The deadline for flood relief funding for many is coming up on October 15th. In particular, for the Small Business Administration loan, which holds the key for future funding.
So the agencies who are helping with this massive effort are trying to get the word out. And they launched a new campaign on Wednesday.
Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon kicked off the Flood Homes with Hope effort. ”Today we are here to deliver one important message: help is here, and it is time to stand up and start asking for it,” she said to a group of flood survivors and partners in the recovery efforts. ‘Flood Homes with Hope is a new campaign to connect flood victims with the resources they need to rebuild their homes,” Prettner Solon said.
Folks who have applied for the SBA loan said they've been getting the help they need.
Charlotte Frantz said that she has heard of people trying to manage on their own, but are sacrificing their retirements and savings accounts to do so.
"I'm here to share that it's OK to ask for help and secure the loan, and their lives," she added. "You can apply once you've started work as well. The agency will help you with documentation."
Only 282 people have applied for the SBA loan. The goal for the group is 1020. You may not be able to afford it, but the paperwork trail is important for other funds.
Here's how the process works:
· Start with your insurance company. While only 5-10% of the damage from the flood is covered by individual insurance, getting a formal insurance denial is important step in accessing other kinds of aid.
· Next, it’s important to apply for a low-cost disaster loan from the SBA. If you can’t afford a loan, it’s still important to apply because the assessment done by the SBA is required for major forms of state assistance. You can apply at SBA.gov or 800.659.2955 (or 800.877.8339 for those hard of hearing).
· If you’re a homeowner, the next step is to apply for a state of Minnesota Quickstart loan that covers up to $30,000 of flood-related damage. The loans are completely forgiven if you live in your home for 10 years, and there are no payments until you sell your home or the loan is forgiven. The loan covers damage that’s not covered by an SBA loan or if you are turned down for an SBA loan. To close your Quick Start loan you will need: Letter of denial or benefits from homeowner’s insurance; letter of denial or partial benefits from SBA; photos of damage; proof of homeowner’s insurance; contractors bids and you need to be current on your mortgage and property taxes. In Carlton County, Quickstart loans are being administered by Lakes and Pines (320) 679-1800 or Toll Free: (800)832-6082 or http://www.lakesandpines.org
· For farmers, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for state flood assistance from farmers severely impacted by record rainfall and flooding in June 2012. Eligible losses may include, but are not limited to, feed and forage damages, damages to buildings or other agricultural structures, agricultural equipment losses, organic and specialty crop losses, and other related farm or ranch damages and expenditures. Expenses for clean-up and debris removal are also eligible. The application form can be found on the MDA website at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/disaster/floodgrant.aspx. Applications must be postmarked by October 24, 2012. The applications will be reviewed and audited by MDA staff, with funds expected to be delivered in January.
· There are a variety of other programs approved by the state or created by generous donors, such as money to stop erosion caused by the flood or money available to renters to move and set up in a new apartment if your old apartment was damaged by the flooding.
The Long Term Recovery Committee has hired a network of Disaster Case Managers to help you find the right assistance. The Disaster Case Managers can be contacted through (218) 499-9480. Additional information can be found at www.FloodHomesWithHope.Org
Also today, Ecolibrium3 announced that they have awarded $77,000 to low-income families who've been affected by the flood. Ecolibrium3 is distributing the $500,000 donation from the Ordean Foundation.
And the Regional Long Term Recovery Relief Fund is at around $417,000. It's going to be doled out based on un-met needs that people have AFTER they've tried the other avenues of help.