Congresswoman Debbie Dingell hosted a Flood Resources Town Hall on July 23, 2021 with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) who made presentations to assist Dearborn residents impacted by the flooding and sewer backups of June 25-26, 2021. They provided information to people who are seeking federal financial resources.
The first step is for residents to register with FEMA:
• Online at DisasterAssistance.gov;
• Using the FEMA App;
• By calling 800-621-3362 .
• TTY users can call 800-462-7585.
• The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
• Residents can also visit the Disaster Recovery Center at the Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave. daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Note that residents must apply through FEMA, even if they have already submitted a Flood Damage/Sewer Backup Damage report to the City of Dearborn.
Residents should verify the following details with FEMA and SBA, but among the highlights of the July 23 Town Hall is the following:
• Individuals should receive a letter after they have registered/applied for assistance via FEMA that contains a unique nine digit number that they will need for all correspondence and in-person activity with FEMA (e.g., if an inspector comes to their home)
• Residents who are denied FEMA assistance are highly encouraged to appeal. Individuals denied will receive a letter detailing the reason for their denial and how to appeal. If further assistance is needed, individuals should contact FEMA.
• Individuals with insurance may automatically get denied; they need to go through their insurance first, and submit documentation stating whatever assistance their insurance is providing them to FEMA. Individuals should attempt to make a claim through their insurance first, even if they believe they will be denied.
• Only two individuals can be designated to speak with FEMA officials (applicant and co-applicant). Again, people need the nine digit number.
• FEMA inspectors will not actually enter individuals’ homes due to COVID, so they must have photos or videos to show them.
• FEMA provides only enough assistance to make your home safe or habitable.
• Individuals, homeowners, renters, and non-profits can apply for low-interest loans through SBA during times of disaster.
• Individuals must first register through FEMA before applying for an SBA loan.
• Small business owners and nonprofit organizations can borrow for economic injury. Also, even if businesses 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.
• The first repayment on the loan provided by SBA will be due in 18 months.
• SBA representatives will be present at FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
• Vehicles damaged by floods may be eligible for SBA loans.
• Rental properties may be eligible for assistance under the SBA’s business physical disaster loan program.
Information to help renters and landlords
• For individuals experiencing landlord problems (e.g., landlord not addressing flood damage), there are disaster legal services available for “no-outcome services.” An example of a no-outcome service in this case would be negotiating with landlord or rental companies if they are not fixing vital issues caused by flood damage. Individuals experiencing landlord issues can find out how to access disaster legal services at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at the Henry Ford Centennial Library.
• In addition, individuals who are renting may be able to obtain assistance to move into a safe, habitable home from FEMA.
• For rental properties, FEMA only provides assistance for personal property replacement, so individuals cannot apply for furnace replacements or similar items. Landlords can apply for assistance from SBA to replace furnaces.
Information on Flood Insurance
• For the future, individuals can find more information on flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov.
View the Congresswoman’s Town Hall
• As of Wednesday, July 28, 2021, the entire Flood Resources Town Hall can be viewed at www.cityofdearborn.org/flood under the Resources section.
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