It's raining federal dollars on Guam as residents recover from Mawar
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
A surge of federal assistance has flowed to Guam as residents head down the road to recovery nearly two months after Typhoon Mawar slammed into the island and left trails of destruction.
To date, approximately $112 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration and direct assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency has rolled into the community to help jumpstart the recovery process.
According to the governor's office, the SBA has approved more than $62.2 million in low-interest disaster loans. The SBA is the number one source of federal disaster recovery funding.
Through low-interest disaster loans, the SBA provides recovery loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters.
For homeowners and renters, the SBA has approved 651 disaster loans totaling nearly $59.2 million. These loans can be used to repair or replace a survivor’s disaster-damaged home and personal property.
A total of 45 businesses and private non-profits have been approved for loans totaling more than $3 million. These funds will help these businesses and organizations recover by replacing real estate, machinery and equipment and inventory and business assets.
More than 16,000 homeowners and renters have been approved for more than $49.7 million in federal awards through FEMA’s individuals and households program. Unlike SBA loans, this money does not have to be paid back.
The program brought more than $11 million in repair and replacement assistance to help survivors rebuild, or make basic repairs to make their homes safe, sanitary, and functional and provide funds to owners whose primary residences were destroyed due to Mawar.
Nearly $14.5 million in rental assistance was provided to more than 4,700 applicants. FEMA rental assistance is intended to help survivors pay for somewhere to live while they repair or rebuild their disaster-damaged homes.
FEMA awards eligible applicants an initial rental assistance payment based on the Fair Market Rent established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for where their pre-disaster residence is located and the number of bedrooms the household requires.
Under the Other Needs Assistance category, more than $24.3 million has been awarded to Guam survivors for disaster-related necessary expenses that are not covered by insurance or provided by any other source.
The program covers critical needs assistance, transportation assistance, personal property assistance, moving and storage, disaster-related medical and dental assistance, and money to clean and sanitize a disaster-damaged home.