City to flood victims: Apply for federal loans

U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Egan) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced Jan. 8 the U.S. Small Business Administration has agreed to provide federal loan assistance to help the victims of Rockford’s Labor Day flood repair their damaged homes.

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 10, homeowners and business owners can apply for low-interest, long-term loans to repair damage. As a result of the SBA Disaster Declaration, homeowners may apply for government loans up to $200,000 to repair the physical damage to their homes. Residents can seek loans for up to 30 years at about 3 percent interest. Businesses in Winnebago County can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans for up to $1.5 million to cover any loss in business stemming from the disaster.

“I want to thank the State of Illinois, Congressman Manzullo and Senator Durbin for their advocacy in obtaining federal SBA loan assistance for Rockford flood victims,” said Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. “Although this assistance will help, there will be many flood victims who are not eligible for SBA loans and will still need assistance. For those who are not eligible for SBA loan assistance, I will ask city staff and City Council to develop a financial assistance program and policy to address this gap. I will also work to secure the $200,000 State of Illinois grant that Representative Jefferson has fought to obtain for Rockford flood victims.”

Any residents who did not already report flood damage are encouraged to do so immediately by calling the City of Rockford Human Services Department at 987-5685 or 987-5686.

The SBA will open a disaster assistance outreach office in Rockford starting Wednesday morning to help residents and business owners fill out applications for assistance. The office will be at the City of Rockford Human Services Department, 612 N. Church St., and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, except Monday, Jan. 15, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13 only. Residents can also get information and applications by calling 1-800-659-2955. Deadline to apply for SBA physical disaster loans is March 6.

All affected residents and businesses are encouraged to apply for SBA assistance, including those who have already made substantial repairs to their homes or businesses. The City of Rockford continues to pursue other resources to assist flood-affected residents and businesses who may not qualify for SBA assistance.

Although the Labor Day flood occurred five months ago, building permits indicate more than half of those affected by the flood have not had the resources to return their homes to a safe and habitable condition. Area residents and businesses that wish to donate to the Labor Day Flood Relief Fund may do so by contacting the Northern Illinois Community Foundation at 962-2110.

From the Jan. 10-16, 2007, issue

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