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Tornado victims may apply for disaster relief funds

by Laurinda Joenks | April 23, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
Tornado damage Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/LAURINDA JOENKS A resident looks over the debris and personal items pulled from the home on Pagosa Street in Springdale. Members of the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management and the federal Small Business Association on Thursday toured damaged areas in Springdale to determine if uninsured residents would be eligible for recovery funds.

SPRINGDALE -- Financial assistance is available for residents and businesses to help recover uninsured losses from the March 30 tornado.

The federal Small Business Administration and the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management will begin taking applications Tuesday at the Springdale Recreation Center.

The state also has developed a call center for applications and questions, and applications to both agencies can be made online.

Both services will operate 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday until May 6. No appointment is necessary.

The deadline to apply for state assistance is May 6. The deadline to apply with the Small Business Administration is June 20.

The Small Business Administration assistance is available in Benton, Crawford, Madison and Washington counties in Arkansas and Adair County in Oklahoma, according to a news release from the administration.

Homeowners and renters must first apply for a loan through the Small Business Association, said LaTresha Woodruff, a spokeswoman for the state division. They could be eligible for the state funds if the federal program doesn't give them a loan.

Applicants must present several documents to apply for aid, including the homeowner's or renter's name, address of the damaged home, phone number, insurance information, Social Security number and a detailed description of damages, Woodruff said.

The state aid is available to U.S. citizens and noncitizens living legally in the United States, she said.

The Small Business Administration will offer disaster loans up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters also are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, announced administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in a news release Thursday.

Interest rates can be as low 1.4% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years, the release said. Loan amounts and terms are set by the administration and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

Individuals whose primary residence was destroyed or left uninhabitable may apply for assistance through the state, the release states.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on April 15 declared Washington County a disaster due to the damage caused by the EF-3 tornado. The declaration initiated the state's Individual Assistance Plan, to which Hutchinson dedicated $100,000.

Assistance can include home repairs, cleaning, household debris removal and personal property repair. Businesses, second homes, vacation homes, vehicles, sheds and outbuildings are not eligible for this program, according to a news release from the Division of Emergency Management.

Print Headline: Tornado victims may apply for disaster relief funds


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