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Governor Culver Makes stop in Cherokee

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gov. Chet Culver makes a point in Cherokee on Monday. Photo by Mike Leckband
Rolls Out 'Iowans Helping Iowans' Program to State's Flood Victims

Iowa Governor Chet Culver made a stop in Cherokee on Monday to roll out the "Iowans Helping Iowans" flood assistance program, meant to help families and businesses get back on their feet after this summer's floods.

He flew into the Cherokee Airport and spoke to a crowd made up of members from the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors, Cherokee City Council, City Administrator, County Engineer, Emergency Management Director along with Cherokee business owners and private citizens.

His focus for the stop was to inform victims of this summers floods and heavy storms that up to $7.5 million will be provided for homeowner assistance, up to $7.5 million for business assistance, and up to $5 million for unmet needs totaling up to $20 million. Culver said affected Iowans are urged to register with FEMA as first step in application process.

"Right now, there are many Iowans with unmet needs and we are going to help them," Culver said Monday. "We are going to be certain all Iowans have the resources they need to rebuild."

Iowans Helping Iowans means the state will come together to use state resources to assist people who have been hit hard by several flooding incidents in the past four months.

Iowans Helping Iowans primarily focuses on housing and business recovery.

Who is eligible for Iowans Helping Iowans program?

Anyone affected by the natural disasters in a county that has been Presidentially Declared for Individual Assistance is eligible for the "Iowans Helping Iowans" program.

This includes the following 32 counties: Cherokee, Black Hawk, Clayton, Decatur, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Franklin, Hamilton, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Kossuth, Lee, Lucas, Lyon, Mahaska, Marion, O'Brien, Osceola, Polk, Ringgold, Sioux, Story, Taylor, Union, Warren, Webster, and Wright.

Homeowners must first register with FEMA and be awarded some form of FEMA housing assistance to be eligible for "Iowans Helping Iowans."

Businesses must first be approved for a disaster-related loan by eligible lender, including conventional lenders, to be eligible for "Iowans Helping Iowans."

Is State Assistance is still available for those currently not in Presidentially Declared Disaster areas?

As of Monday, residents in 10 counties are covered by disaster proclamations and may register for state Individual Assistance from storms in June, July and August: Appanoose, Boone, Buchanan, Calhoun, Dickinson, Johnson, Keokuk, Monona, Shelby and Washington.

Individuals in these counties should call the State Individual Assistance Program at 1-866-434-4692 or visit www.dhs.iowa.gov and click on the Storm Help link.

Is there additional assistance for farmers?

In addition, agricultural producers who sustained losses from recent flooding and severe weather may be eligible to apply for assistance through their local Farm Service Agency office. Visit www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA and select the State Offices link at the top of the page for more information.

What about Federal Assistance?

Anyone who sustained losses in the designated counties may also be eligible for federal support and are encouraged to immediately begin registering for assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time). Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves, details on insurance coverage, and any other information to help substantiate losses.

The Iowans Helping Iowans program offers the following assistance.

Business Assistance Program; Eligible Businesses:

The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) will provide financial assistance to businesses located in the presidentially declared disaster area eligible for individual assistance, as designated by FEMA-1930-DR, that have been physically damaged or destroyed by the natural disasters of 2010. Residential landlords and home-based businesses are not considered eligible businesses for purposes of this program.

The financial assistance under this program includes:

Working Capital Assistance:

Eligible businesses may receive $5,000 to $50,000 for working capital to ensure the business's survival. The maximum amount of funds available through this Program for businesses is an amount equal to 25% of the loan approved by an eligible lender.

Assistance will be provided as a forgivable loan, provided the business remains open for at least 12 months following the award. If the business closes or otherwise ceases to exist in substantially the same capacity it was at the time the loan was awarded under this program, the entire loan shall be subject to immediate and full repayment. The loans awarded under this program shall not require a security but shall be subject to the terms and conditions of a loan agreement between IDED and the business and applicable regulations.

Assistance Eligibility:

Businesses must have been physically damaged by the 2010 natural disasters and have received loan approval from an eligible lender* for a 2010 natural disaster-related purpose.


IDED will be managing this program directly. Please contact the Department with questions at the following email address: IHIBusiness@iowa.gov, or at 1-800-245-IOWA.

Housing Assistance Program; Eligible Applicants:

The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) will provide financial assistance to homeowners whose primary homes are located in

presidentially declared disaster areas eligible for individual assistance and have been damaged or destroyed by the natural disasters of 2010. The State financial assistance under this program includes:

1. Housing Repair / Rehabilitation Assistance:

Individuals whose homes were damaged by the 2010 natural disasters and are not proposed for buyouts may receive financial assistance not to exceed $25,000 for the necessary and reasonable cost of eligible repair expenses for a disaster-affected home determined feasible for rehabilitation. Individuals eligible for this assistance are not eligible for assistance under the Down Payment Assistance provision.

2. Down Payment Assistance:

Individuals whose homes were destroyed or damaged beyond reasonable repair by the 2010 natural disasters may be provided down payment assistance for the purchase of replacement housing and, if necessary, for the cost of making reasonable repairs to the home being purchased to make it safe, decent, and habitable not to exceed the lesser of 25 percent of the purchase price of the home being purchased or $25,000. Individuals eligible for this assistance are not eligible for assistance under the Housing Repair/Rehabilitation Assistance provision.

Types of Assistance:

Assistance under this program will be provided as a forgivable loan, forgiven over a 5-year period at a rate of 20 percent a year so long as person remains in the home. If the homeowner sells the home before the end of the five-year retention period, the homeowner shall repay the remaining loan balance upon the sale of their home.

Interest Rate: 0 percent

Term: 5 years


Homeowners must have registered with FEMA and been awarded some form of FEMA housing assistance to be eligible for this program. The home to be assisted must be an owner-occupied primary residence. Homes located in the 100-year flood plain are not eligible for Down Payment Assistance but may be eligible for Housing Repair / Rehabilitation Assistance provided the home meets local flood plain management standards. Assistance provided under the program must be in compliance with all applicable local and state rules and ordinances, including but not limited to, those relating to building codes, zoning, flood plain ordinances, lead-safe renovators and work practices, and asbestos inspection and removal.

Unmet Needs Disaster Assistance:

The local Long-Term Recovery Committees will work with households seeking assistance through this program and certify the assistance that each household may receive. Payments will be made by the Department of Human Services based on the LTRC certification.

The maximum amount for any one household is $2,500, which will be made available to approved applicants, either as a reimbursement for disaster-related expenditures or through a voucher.

The program is available only in those counties that received a federal disaster declaration.

In addition, the Department will use a portion of the funds available in working with local entities to assure sufficient service coordination for residents working through the impacts of the disasters.

The program will end June 30, 2011 or upon exhaustion of the funding available, whichever is earlier.

Definition - Unmet need: an item or service needed to overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury, or adverse condition due to an eligible federally declared disaster, resulting in costs or damages related to personal property, home repair, food assistance, child care or temporary housing for which the household has not received adequate assistance from any federal, state, nonprofit or faith-based agency.

Eligible applicants:

* The household's residence was located in the area identified by a federal disaster declaration occurring on or after June 1, 2010 but before August 15, 2010.

* Household members are citizens of the United Sates or are legally residing in the United States.

* The household's annual income is at or less than 300% of the Federal poverty level for a house of that size (for example, up to $66,150 for a family of 4).

* The household has disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance, or the claim is less than or equal to the deductible amount. This program will not reimburse the amount of the insurance deductible when the claim exceeds the deductible amount.

* The household has not previously received assistance from this program or another program such as, but not limited to other state assistance, local community development groups, charities or faith-based agencies, the Small Business Administration or the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the same loss. The applicant must have applied to the Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency but did not receive an award for the same item/s in application for this program.

For more information visit www.IowansHelpingIowans.com.

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