Disaster Assistance is for Texas Renters, Too
Renters in Texas counties whose homes and property were damaged by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding may be eligible for federal disaster assistance. Aid is available to residents of Erath, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hood, Jasper, Limestone, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Shelby and Tyler counties.
Federal grants can help pay for temporary housing not covered by insurance. These rental grants are initially for two months.
Also, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans to help Texas renters repair or replace disaster-damaged personal property, including automobiles. Loan rates are as low as 1.813 percent; terms can be as long as 30 years and survivors may be eligible for up to $40,000, depending on their losses.
Both renters and homeowners may qualify for grants for other disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs, such as clothing, child care, room furnishings and appliances, medical and dental costs, vehicles and moving and storage expenses. Eligibility for some grants is determined only after completing and returning an SBA application. There is no requirement to take out a loan should it be approved.
The first step is to register with FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone (voice, 711 or video relay service) at 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585. Toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week and multilingual operators are available.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/
Disaster loan information and application forms are also available online at http://www.sba.gov/disaster, from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or by emailingdisastercustomerservice@sba.
For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster webpage at fema.gov/disaster/4266, Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion6 and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website,txdps.state.tx.us/dem.