DEARBORN — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) met with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Small Business Administration (SBA) to host a virtual town hall for residents.
FEMA and SBA representatives made presentations and provided information to residents seeking federal financial resources.
Residents who have already registered for assistance should receive a letter that contains a unique nine digit number they will need for all correspondence and in-person activity with FEMA.
During the event, residents who were denied FEMA assistance were highly encouraged to file an appeal. Individuals who are denied will receive a letter detailing the reason for their denial and how to appeal.
Residents were also instructed to file claims through their insurance companies first and submit documentation stating whatever assistance the insurance company is providing them to FEMA. Residents were also encouraged to file claims with their insurance company even if they think they will be denied.
FEMA only allows two individuals to be designated to speak with them and those individuals must have that nine digit reference number.
Due to COVID, FEMA inspectors will not actually enter homes; residents are encouraged to have photos and videos ready to show them.
During the town hall, they also advised residents that FEMA only provides enough assistance to make a home safe or habitable and residents must register through FEMA before applying for an SBA loan.
While SBA loans are low-interest loans that businesses, non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters can apply for, businesses and non-profits can borrow for “economic injury” and even if they did not receive flood damage, they can receive money for “business interruption.”
Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 for land or building damages and up to $40,000 for personal property loss, with the first repayment of the loan due after 18 months.
Vehicles damaged by the floods may also be eligible for SBA loans as well as rental properties, and SBA representatives are present at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
For residents experiencing landlord problems, there are disaster legal services available for “no-outcome services” such as not fixing vital issues caused by flood damages and the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will have information available on how to access legal services.
Renters may also be able to obtain assistance to move into a safe, habitable home from FEMA. FEMA only provides assistance for personal property replacement for rental properties, so landlords would need to apply for assistance from the SBA.
The entire Flood Resources Town Hall can be viewed at www.cityofdearborn.org/flood under the “Resources” section.