State, counties work together to secure federal disaster aid for Harris County flood victims
Harris County residents and businesses affected by severe storms on May 7-8, 2019, are now eligible for low-interest, long-term loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office worked closely with partners at the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Governor’s Office, and the City of Houston to ensure Kingwood residents would have access to federal assistance after hundreds of structures were damaged.
“Residents in Kingwood were devastated in the aftermath of these storms and we are pleased that they will now be able to access this much-needed assistance,” Judge Hidalgo said. “We have been working creatively and relentlessly with our state partners and neighboring counties for this to be possible, and at times it seemed extremely unlikely. The number of homes affected was barely enough to draw down this aid. We will always fight zealously for our region, but the process for obtaining federal disaster assistance all too often ignores the reality of what’s happening on the ground. Until the federal government addresses this issue and lowers the thresholds for aid, we run the risk in future incidents of hard-hit residents being left without key federal assistance.”
Hidalgo also expressed gratitude to the Texas Division of Emergency Management for conducting a thorough assessment and being responsive partners in helping residents receive aid from the federal government.
Homeowners in Harris County who were affected by the severe weather on May 7-8 may apply for SBA loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate damaged or destroyed by the storms, winds, and flooding. Businesses, most private nonprofit organizations, and renters who lost property are also eligible to apply for disaster assistance.
SBA representatives will be available at an outreach center in Richmond, TX, to answer questions and help individuals complete applications for disaster loans, which offer interest rates as low as 1.938 percent with terms up to 30 years for homeowners and renters. Individuals may also apply online and access information at http://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Customer service representatives are available at 800-877-8339 and via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Richmond center will be open on the days and times indicated below, and no appointment is necessary:
Disaster Loan Outreach Center
William Travis Building, First Floor Meeting Room
301 Jackson Street
Richmond, TX 77469
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 25