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Homeowners recovering from Ida face deciding between SBA loan or FEMA assistance

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Anna Vallery is one of many people hoping to get help paying for damage to her home from Hurricane Ida.

“Everything’s messed up; we live in Convent,” said Valley.

She added she’s still waiting to hear back from FEMA.

Congressman Garret Graves said he and others have been putting pressure on FEMA to start helping people as quickly as possible.

“We were able to convince FEMA to extend the hours of their call hotline,” said Graves. “I will tell you, I’ve been calling every few days just to see how long it takes to get through because we’ve had times where it’s taken over an hour to get through.”

But some who hear back from FEMA are also receiving a letter encouraging them to apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration.

“My advice is if you are below average income, you’re fine taking that loan from the SBA. If you are above the average income for your area, you’re going to be better off and interest rates are so low right now, you’re going to be better off going to a bank,” explained Graves.

Others are getting informed they’ve been denied assistance.

But Brandi Janes, the director of the Livingston Parish Department of Homeland Security, said homeowners need to read the letter carefully.

“What they need to realize is it’s actually not a denial letter,” said Janes. “They’re just saying we’ve processed them. We just need further documentation from you.”

CLICK HERE to contact the Small Business Administration.

CLICK HERE to contact FEMA.

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