Help could be on the way for homeowners whose homes were damaged in Collier County. The county is setting aside $3.3. million to go toward repairing and replacing homes by Hurricane Irma.
"The whole neighborhood has a lot of damage," said Sandy Auckerman, who lives on Tamiami Court in East Naples.
Her home has $50,000 worth of damage from Irma, but the check she got from her insurance company was only for $4,600. She applied for help through FEMA to cover repair costs for her roof, shed, pool screen and fence.
"They said we had insurance, so they couldn't help us," Auckerman said. "So they told us to apply for an SBA loan, and we haven't heard back from them yet."
This week, Collier County commissioners approved the $3.3 million in disaster mitigation funding to help homeowners like Auckerman pay for repair costs that FEMA or insurance aren't covering. The money, in the form of a grant, can provide qualified homeowners with up to $15,000.
"That program can cover any kind of emergency repairs a homeowner would have made, including reimbursement for an insurance deductible," said Kristi Sonntag, grant manager with Collier County Community and Human Services.
The money is first-come, first-to-qualify until the funding runs out. Applicants must apply in person from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at one of three locations:
Roberts Center, 905 Roberts Ave West, Immokalee FL 34142
Everglades Airpark, 650 E.C. Airpark Rd, Everglades City FL 34139
Community and Human Services, 3339 Tamiami Trail East, Room 211, Naples FL 34112
All household members over the age of 18 must be present at the time of the application intake interview. Each applicant must bring: ID; proof of citizenship or legal residency; 6 months of bank statements, savings account, retirement; property insurance documents; FEMA denial or award letter; proof of homestead; 2 months of pay stubs; 2 years of tax returns; receipts for repairs and proof of payment.
There are also 15-year, zero-interest loans available through Collier County's program. For more information, call 239-252-2273.