Renters impacted by Florence could be eligible for federal help


People are still trying to get help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of Hurricane Florence, including those who rent their home or apartment.

Renters have always been eligible for assistance, but FEMA officials want to make sure that message is conveyed. 

Fema can help pay rent or cover hotel costs if you aren’t able to get in your house or apartment.  This especially applies if you received an eviction notice due to damage from Florence.

You can take that notice to a disaster recovery center and apply for help.

The main thing everyone needs to remember is getting FEMA assistance is done on a case-by-case basis.

Just because your neighbor didn’t get any assistance, that doesn’t mean you won’t — so, apply.

“If someone receives a ‘no’ on their determination letter, don’t throw the letter away,” said Angela Byrd, with Fema. “But make sure that you’re reading the whole letter because there could have been some information missed during the process of applying. So, make sure you come in person or call.”

For landlords, there could be assistance waiting for you from the Small Business Administration. Owning rental property classifies as a business.

If approved, you get the loan right away, and you don’t have to wait on insurance. Then, you can get the rental property fixed up, and get people back in their homes as soon as possible.

“Sometimes it takes a while to settle with insurance, so we want them to come to us right away,” said Karen Knapik, with the Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance program. “We will give you the money. and let’s get this process started because it is about getting folks back to where they were before the storm.”

When the insurance claim settles, that’s when you can start paying off the SBA loan.

You can apply at the disaster recovery center in New Bern.

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