ADECA offers new disaster relief for tornado victims

Published 2:09 pm Thursday, September 27, 2012

Families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the April 2011 tornadoes that struck north and central Alabama could be eligible for financial assistance under a program announced earlier this month by Jim Byard Jr., director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Owners of single-family homes in the affected 30 counties (including Marengo) could receive up to $25,000 to repair or rebuild their houses if they meet eligibility requirements. A total of $6-8 million is available for the program that is funded by a Community Development Block Grant.

“Although it has been nearly a year and a half since these storms struck, many Alabamians are still hurting and need help,” Byard said. “Gov. (Robert) Bentley pledged all available resources to help people recover, and acting on his behalf, ADECA secured these additional federal funds to aid people who have been unable to get the assistance they need.”

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Three regional organizations, each serving a designated group of counties in the affected area, will take applications during the next two months. Priority of funding will be given to low-income persons; the elderly and disabled; households with children; and displaced persons.

Applicants will be required to provide proof that they own their home; that their house was damaged by tornadoes in April 2011; proof of income and that they have received no funding or reimbursement from other sources to cover the full amount of damage to the structure. In addition to repairs and rebuilding, eligible projects can include demolition and cleanup.

More than 250 people died and 2,200 were injured during when a two-week period in April 2011 when the state was struck by multiple tornadoes. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency 6,237 houses and 1,275 mobile homes were destroyed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided the state with funding for this assistance.

All three agencies accepting applications have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on other programs and projects involving the 2011 tornadoes.

Marengo County residents should contact the Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless (540 S. Perry St. in Montgomery) at 1-888-421-1266. Callers will press option four.