USDA announces homeowners impacted by July flood could be eligible for grant money

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Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 4:14 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Homeowners impacted by historic flooding in July of 2022 have another opportunity to receive financial help.

A United States Department of Agriculture grant would give each homeowner up to almost $41,000 that can help flood survivors repair their homes.

“These funds can be used to hook up water systems, foundations, sewer systems, septic systems. All of those things are eligible costs,” USDA Rural Development Kentucky State Director Tom Carew said.

Around 1,200 people in presidentially-declared disaster areas can receive the financial help.

“This is a special pot of money that came out of the omnibus that was passed in December, and it is 60 million dollars for the entire country,” Tom Carew said.

Carew also said Kentucky draws a chunk of money historically from the omnibus spending bills, but this will be specially allocated to flood survivors.

They hope this process will be a giant step to recovery.

“Our staff is gearing up and ready to take those applications in, and hopefully, since it’s not one of our regular programs, we’re hoping it will be much easier and simple for folks to apply,” the rural development director said.

However, getting the money now will include meeting some requirements.

“They need to be the owner of the property. The house has to have been damaged by the flood,” Tom Carew said.

There are income limits that an applicant cannot exceed based on the size of their home and where they live, but officials with the USDA hope, through this, people can recover quicker.

In a news release, the Department of Agriculture also mentioned additional funding could be allocated to local housing non-profits.

Housing Development Alliance Assistant Director Chris Doll said it is all another step to helping flood survivors recover.

“As a trusted RD (Rural Development) packager for their other housing programs, HDA is happy to assist families with completing an application for assistance through this new program and we’re happy to have our carpenters and contractors complete the needed repairs.”