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SHERMAN OAKS : Yaroslavsky Aide Assists Quake Victims

If Mike Jimenez were to hang a shingle in front of his office, it might read: “We take all cases. No problem too small.”

Well, maybe not every case. Just the same, the aide to City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, who was hired to help Sherman Oaks property owners get financing to repair their quake-damaged apartments and condominiums, has not pooh-poohed the opportunity to help in smaller ways.

Just recently, for example, Jimenez got some volunteers from the First Presbyterian Church of Sherman Oaks and the L.A. Conservation Corps to help move an elderly woman’s belongings from her quake-damaged condo in Sherman Oaks to her temporary quarters in Reseda.

“It was something that wasn’t all that difficult to do, but it required that someone take two hours to coordinate,” Jimenez explained on Monday, as he was getting ready to inspect some apartment buildings to make sure they were boarded up and fenced.

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In the two months since the consultant was hired, he estimates he has helped about 35 property owners get their structures boarded up and fenced, apply for city loans and deal with their insurance companies. The bulk of his clients are those who need help securing their properties from looters and vagrants, Jimenez said.

Jimenez also helps apartment and condominium owners apply for reconstruction loans from the city housing department, which has $129 million available for that purpose. The city loan is intended to help bridge the difference between a loan from the Small Business Administration and the actual cost of repairing a building.

The area in which Jimenez is helping property owners is bordered by Cedros Avenue to the west, Coldwater Canyon Avenue to the east, the Ventura Freeway to the north and Dickens Street to the south. The housing department, in a separate program, is lending a hand to property owners on Willis and Natick avenues.

Jimenez said he is also willing to make calls to insurance companies on behalf of policyholders who are having problems getting their cases settled. For more information, call (818) 756-8083.

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