LLIS Lesson Learned: Funding Housing Recovery from Localized Incidents in Tennessee   [open pdf - 202KB]

"On August 5, 2012, a severe storm inundated Eastern Tennessee with five to six inches of rain in the span of a few hours. The National Weather Service categorized the rainfall as a once in a 600- to 800- year event. Officials from Washington County--the most severely affected county in Tennessee--needed to identify resources and funding for nearly 150 households whose homes were either heavily damaged or destroyed by the flooding. While the impact to the affected communities was proportionally large, the total damage was not enough to trigger FEMA Individual Assistance funds. Tennessee did receive assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the form of low interest loans to individual homeowners, small businesses, and non-profits. Communities can qualify for these loans at lower thresholds than FEMA's Individual Assistance programs. However, many of the displaced households were not able to qualify for SBA loans because their incomes were too low, meaning those most affected by the flooding received the least assistance. As a result, local officials sought alternate sources of assistance to support recovery operations."

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