Despite federal government’s rules that prevent Haverhill and other Essex County cities and towns with any relief due to floods caused by the Aug. 8 storms, residents are reminded they may still receive low-interest loans to help with rebuilding.
That was the message from Small Business Administration Public Affairs Specialist James Accurso to members of the Haverhill City Council last Tuesday. He explained loan rates run between 2.4 and 4% and can be paid back over 15-30 years.
“A lot of folks don’t know that we do offer our loans to homeowners and renters in addition to businesses and nonprofits. The maximum amount for the home loan is $500,000 and the maximum amount for the contents for homeowners and renters is $100,000 and the deadline for those to apply is Nov. 20,” he said.
Accurso said an outreach center was open through Saturday at the Lawrence Senior Center, 155 Haverhill St., in Lawrence. Others may still apply for a loan online at SBA.gov. There is no fee to apply nor any obligation to accept the loan which, he added, is offered interest free for the first year.
Accurso added since prevention of future damage is part of the recovery goal, the SBA offers additional loans for any verifiable mitigation efforts.
“If they put in place any measures from keeping the same type of issue happening with their basement or with their home, they can get up to 20% of the verified loss on top of the initial loan amount,” he explained.
Following the presentation, Council President Timothy J. Jordan cited a personal experience with a flooded basement and advocated for those who qualify to take advantage of the low interest rates being offered.