(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency on Saturday put out a news release to let everyone know that the Federal Emergency Management Agency Individual Assistance Program for Kīlauea survivors will end on Monday, November 11.
The FEMA program “is intended to help residents get back on their feet following a disaster,” the state news release said. “Specifically, it provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households who had uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses as well serious needs for 18 months.”
The agency says FEMA continues to process applications and has already awarded nearly $12.5 million to more than 1,000 households.
Of the 1,010 households that received financial assistance, the vast majority, 992, received housing assistance. 186 received the maximum allowable award, and 247 received other needs assistance, the state reports.
The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency said:
A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) was opened in June 2018 to help Hawai’i County residents who suffered losses from the Kīlauea eruptions and earthquakes apply for disaster assistance. The DRC was staffed by representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, State and County and voluntary agencies to assist survivors of the Kīlauea eruption.
In August 2019, FEMA with support from the County of Hawai’i deployed assistance specialists to Hawai’i Island to meet with recipients of disaster aid who received letters indicating they owe a federal debt following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. Recognizing that a disaster involving lava presents unique challenges, special efforts have been made between the County, State and Federal agencies to address issues regarding standards to prove occupancy, as well as other concerns that may have resulted in ineligibility for assistance.
The state says 1,809 households were referred to the Small Business Administration for low interest disaster home loans. 577 completed an application and 277 were approved for $28,265,900. The SBA approved an additional $14.4 million in disaster loans for 102 local businesses.
The state said local nonprofits continue to provide assistance to disaster survivors. “One example is the Kīlauea Hui,” the media release said, “a coalition of nonprofits including Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Hawaiian Community Assets, and others meets regularly to assist survivors with unmet needs in collaboration with the disaster case management program at Neighborhood Place of Puna. Financial donations are still being accepted to support their efforts.”
The FEMA-funded disaster case management grant program, which “makes case managers available to help survivors develop their recovery plan and find community resources that might help,” has been authorized until May 2020. For assistance, contact Neighborhood Place of Puna at 808-965-5550.