HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has asked the United States Small Business Administration to declare Philadelphia a disaster area after a devastating fire in a 90-unit apartment building last week left more than 100 people homeless.
“The apartment building was home to students, families and retirees who now have nothing left. In order to help these victims recover from this disaster, I have asked the federal Small Business Administration to make low-interest disaster loans available to help replace lost and damaged property,” Corbett said. “I urge the SBA to take prompt action on this request.”
SBA officials, along with local and state officials, have conducted damage assessments at the Windermere Court Apartments in West Philadelphia. The
Governor used the damage assessment results to request assistance from the SBA in the form of low-interest, long-term loans for qualifying individuals, homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations that were affected by the fire.
According to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon, the damage in Philadelphia exceeds the SBA criteria of at least 25 homes and/or businesses with uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of their estimated fair market value.
If the Governor’s request is approved and the disaster declaration is granted, the SBA would provide low-interest loans of up to $200,000 to eligible homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial qualifications.
More information on disaster assistance in Pennsylvania is available at www.pema.state.pa.us by clicking on “Disaster Assistance” in the left-hand column.