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Low-interest loans available to owners, renters of homes damaged in torrential August rains

Flooding evident in front of homes on Moffit

Flooding evident in front of homes on Moffit Boulevard on Aug. 14, 2014 in Islip, a day after 13 inches of rain fell in the area. Credit: James Carbone

Owners and renters of Nassau and Suffolk homes and businesses that were damaged in torrential rain and flooding episodes last month may apply for low-interest federal Small Business Administration loans, officials said Monday.

The announcement by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet came in response to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's request for release of the funds to give relief to residents and business owners adversely affected by the Aug. 12-13 rainfall.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000, while businesses and nonprofits may seek up to $2 million.

"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of New York with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans," Contreras-Sweet said.

In response, Cuomo said: "This approval gives a much-needed lifeline to hundreds of Long Island residents and business owners who bore the brunt of last month's record-breaking rains. Long Islanders, more than others, have experienced firsthand the destruction that these severe storms can inflict."

Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta, said loans of up to $200,000 are available for homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, adding that both homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 for personal items.

Interest rates begin at 2.063 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for nonprofits and 4 percent for businesses, and the loans are to be paid back over 30 years.

Applicants may get information at a center in Islip at Town Hall West, 401 Main St. The facility is open every day, except Sunday, through Sept. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will also be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Applications may be accessed online through Electronic Loan Application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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