The Rebuild Iowa Office still has money available for those in the state affected by the storms and flooding of 2008. R-I-O spokesperson, Tina Pothoff, says the "Iowa Unmet Needs Disaster Grant Program" allows for disaster victims to receive more money for cleanup and repairs, but not a lot of people have been taking advantage of the service yet.
"Maybe they haven’t heard of it, or they don’t know where to go to apply," Pothoff says. "So that’s why we’re rolling out a second publicity campaign for this particular program." Pothoff says many Iowans may be eligible for purchases they made months ago as they recovered from any damage done to their houses or property. It also covers some other costs that you may not have realized were directly related to the storms and flooding.
"The categories of assistance cover everything from home repair, personal property, temporary housing to child care, food assistance and mental health needs. Each household can get up to $2,500," according to Pothoff. "It is a grant; it’s not a loan. So you don’t have to pay anything back unless you get the reimbursement."
Basically, if you end up getting paid through insurance or another source for those expenses, you are not eligible to be paid again through Rebuild Iowa. Pothoff says the process for applying for an Unmet Needs Grant is fairly simple. A local long-term recovery committee will help you get through the steps.
"They can get them set up with a case worker or a case manager, walk them through the system, walk them through the paperwork," Pothoff explains. "They should be able to walk away with a voucher or a reimbursement of some sort if they qualify."
Pothoff says if insurance or other assistance programs didn’t cover that new refrigerator or hot water heater that had to be bought after the basement flooded last year, you might be a perfect candidate for the program. Find more information on-line at the Rebuild Iowa website .