Press Club

Virginia to Offer Low-Interest Loans to Local Flooding Victims

Gov. Ralph Northam announced today (Thursday) that Virginia will help those impacted by July’s historic floods with low-interest loans to cover the cost of repairs.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will dole out federal loans of up to $200,000 for damage to people’s homes, or up to $2 million for damage to their businesses. Homeowners and renters are also eligible for loans of up to $40,000 covering the cost of the many personal possessions lost in the unusually strong storm.

Residents and small business owners in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax County are eligible to apply.

Residents will have until October 7, 2019 to request a loan to cover physical property damage, and businesses will have until May 7, 2020 to request a loan for economic damage.

“Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes,” the governor’s office and Virginia Department of Emergency Management wrote a joint press release. “Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.”

The terms SBA sets for the loans will depend on the individual, officials say, but can last 30 years with interest rates around 4% for businesses, 2.75% for nonprofits, and 1.938% for homeowners.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Virginia with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton.

“We appreciate the Small Business Administration approving our request for financial assistance to help Virginians get back on their feet and move forward as quickly as possible,” Northam said in a statement. “We will continue working in close coordination with the affected communities to support their recovery.”

In the meantime, SBA is setting up a space in Arlington for residents to come with questions about the loan process. The space, dubbed the “Disaster Loan Outreach Center,” will be located in the Arlington Trades Center (2700 S. Taylor Street) and will open for about a week, starting next Tuesday.

The schedule, per the governor’s office:

  • Tuesday, August 13 — 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday, August 14 — 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Thursday, August 15 — 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday, August 16 — 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, August 17 — 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Sunday, August 18 — CLOSED
  • Monday, August 19 — 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM

In addition to online applications at DisasterLoan.sba.gov, paper applications can be mailed to the SBA’s Processing and Disbursement Center, located at 14925 Kingsport Road in Fort Worth, TX.

Residents can contact the SBA with questions by emailing [email protected]gov, or calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (or dialing 1-800-877-8339 a deaf-accessible line.)

Over 1,000 residents filed damage reports with the county and Arlington declared a state of emergency in the hopes of applying for state and federal aid. As repair costs mounted and the county said it wasn’t liable for sewer damageseveral businesses, neighborhoods, and homeowners said they were forced to set up online fundraising campaigns.

The July flash floods dealt an estimated $4.1 million worth of damage to county-owned property and damaged dozens of buildings on the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. These properties are not eligible for SBA loans.

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