Categorized | Kilauea Eruption, News

Federal disaster assistance available to renters too


HONOLULU—Renters in Hawai‘i County whose homes and property were damaged by the Kilauea
volcanic eruption and earthquakes may be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

FEMA provides individuals and households—homeowners and renters—financial help or direct services
to those who have necessary expenses and serious needs if they are unable to meet these needs through
other means.

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans to help repair or replace
disaster-damaged personal property, including furniture and automobiles. Loan rates are as low as 1.938
percent; terms can be as long as 30 years and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000, depending on
their losses.

Both renters and homeowners may qualify for federal assistance for other disaster-related necessary
expenses and serious needs, such as clothing, childcare, room furnishings and appliances, medical and
dental costs, vehicles and moving and storage expenses. Eligibility for some grants is determined by
completing and returning the SBA application. There is no requirement to take out a loan should it be

The first step is to apply for assistance with FEMA. Those with Kilauea-related losses may do so:

  • At the Disaster Recovery Center in the Kea‘au High School Gymnasium, 16-725 Kea‘au-
    Pahoa Road Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Online at
  • By Phone 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Multilingual operators are available
    • Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. Persons
      who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-

The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

Additional information on FEMA assistance is available online:…

To apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans, Applicants can visit the disaster recovery center for one-
on-one assistance or apply online using SBA’s secure website at
In addition, applicants can get more information on SBA disaster assistance by calling SBA’s
Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, by visiting, or by emailing
disastercustomerservice@sba.go…. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call
(800) 877-8339.

Paper applications may be requested, and completed paper applications should be mailed to U.S. Small
Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX

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