SAN DIEGO–North county homeowners or renters affected by the Lilac Fire can register for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant that can help cover temporary housing assistance, essential home repairs and uninsured or underinsured personal property losses. Residents and business owners can also apply for a low interest loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Grant applicants will be asked to give the need for funding and the following information: Social security number, address of the damaged primary residence, description of the damage, information about insurance coverage, a current contact telephone number, an address where they can receive mail, and bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.
FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
Registering for federal aid through FEMA is required, even if homeowners, renters or business owners have registered for assistance with other disaster-relief organizations such as the American Red Cross. Residents should register even if they have insurance since FEMA may be able to assist with underinsured losses after the claims are settled.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering low-interest disaster loans for business of all sizes including landlords, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. Disaster loans cover losses not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.
Residents who suffered these kinds of property losses in the fire or who have other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance may apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585 by March 3. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.