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Harris County Residents, Businesses Eligible For Federal Disaster Relief

The presidential disaster declaration clears the way for low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration to repair flood damage.



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As the cleanup from last week’s storms and flooding continues, Harris County residents and businesses can now apply for federal disaster relief to help with the costs.

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Late last week, President Obama declared states of disaster in Harris County, as well as Hays County near Austin and Van Zandt County in Northeast Texas. The declaration clears the way for emergency loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration

“SBA can provide low-interest loans to businesses of up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, or really any other business asset that was damaged as a result of the disaster,” says Richard Jenkins, a spokesman for the SBA’s disaster assistance office.

Nonprofit organizations are eligible for disaster loans under the same terms as businesses.

The agency is also offering assistance to homeowners and renters.

“For renters, we can lend up to $40,000 to cover personal property losses,” Jenkins says, “and for homeowners, we can lend up to $200,000 to repair their disaster-damaged primary residence.”

Workers who lost their jobs due to the flood, as well as self-employed individuals prevented from working, are also eligible for disaster unemployment relief. The Texas Workforce Commission is taking applications through July 1.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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