City Council approves tornado loan program

June 7, 2011 1:07:26 PM PDT
Raleigh City Council unanimously approved a program that will allow qualified city residents to receive deferred loans from the City.

The program was approved Tuesday. Funding will come from $400,000 in redirected City housing bonds. Homeowners have 90 days to apply and their homes must have sustained damage in the April 16 tornadoes.

The program provides up to $20,000 in deferred loans to qualified homeowners with low or moderate incomes. The loans can only be used for repairing housing code violations in order to restore homes to the City's minimum living standards.

In order to receive a loan, the homeowner must exhaust all other means of financial assistance for home repairs, including homeowner's insurance or financial assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Small Business Administration. Homeowners seeking a loan must prove that damage to their property was caused by the April 16 storms to the extent that City inspectors declared the residence uninhabitable.

June 20 is the deadline to register for federal disaster assistance. The FEMA toll-free registration number is 800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 800-462-7585 for deaf or hearing-impaired callers. Registration is also available online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by smartphone at m.fema.gov.

Applicants for the City's deferred loans for tornado victims must have a maximum income ranging from $43,550 for a one-member household to $82,050 for an eight-member household. They also must be in good standing with their mortgage and property taxes, and possess a homeowner's insurance policy when they close on the City loan.

The deferred loans would be repaid to the City if the house is sold or the borrower no longer maintains it as his or her principal residence.

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