From KTVU News: Deadline extended for earthquake relief money

NAPA, Calif. (KTVU) – The Napa Valley Community Foundation has extended the deadline to apply to its Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund to March 31, 2015.

The fund provides grants to repair structural damage to homes and physical and economic losses to small businesses from the 6.0 Aug. 24 South Napa earthquake.

The previous application deadline was Jan. 16.

The Napa Valley Community Foundation also has increased the maximum grant awards for homeowners and businesses and the program’s income guidelines.

The maximum grant for homeowners is now $20,000 instead of $10,000. The grants are available to qualified homeowners at or below 300 percent of the Area Median Income instead of 200 percent. The change reflects the very high cost of housing in Napa County, said Julia DeNatale, manager of the Community Foundation’s philanthropic services.

The maximum grant award for small business owners is now $25,000 instead of $15,000.

Homeowners and businesses must demonstrate they have been declined a Small Business Administration disaster loan or have losses that exceed their approved SBA loan amounts in order to qualify for a grant from the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s relief fund.

Local residents who have already received rebuilding grants from the Community Disaster Relief Fund may apply for additional funds based on the new maximum grant amounts.

Small business owners who were declined disaster loans from private lenders, including banks, or who have losses that exceed approved loan amounts from private lenders also may apply for grants from the Community Disaster Relief Fund.

Terence Mulligan, president of Napa Valley Community Foundation said the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Association have already provided $40 million in grants and loans to 4,300 applicants as of this week.

Mulligan said 325 homeowners and business owners have been declined an SBA disaster loan.

The Napa Valley Community Foundation’s nonprofit partners have received applications from 208 homeowners and business owners seeking money to rebuild, and grants have been awarded to 77 recipients, DeNatale said. Another 128 applications are pending, she said.

The Community Disaster Relief Fund has distributed $2 million to address immediate recovery needs and $500,000 to help homeowners and business owners rebuild, DeNatale said.

Nearly 1,000 Napa County households have received direct financial assistance for recovery or rebuilding and more than 11,000 local residents have received services as a result of grants from the fund, DeNatale said.

The Napa Valley Community Foundation allocated up to $8 million for rebuilding programs for homeowners, mobile homeowners and small business owners, DeNatale said.

The approval rate for SBA disaster loans in Napa County is 70 percent compared to 50 percent nationwide, Mulligan said.

“We’re fortunate to see fewer residents than we would have expected slipping through the safety net of the government’s disaster relief programs,” Mulligan said.

“However, we want to provide assistance to those still in need, and that’s why we’ve extended the deadline and revised the requirements,” Mulligan said.

The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund was created with a $10 million lead gift from Napa Valley vintners after the earthquake, and 460 individual, corporate and foundation donors have provided more than $850,000.

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