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CALABASAS : Grants Available for Post-Quake Repairs

The city has a new grant program that provides eligible homeowners up to $35,000 for earthquake repairs.

“Since the department began taking applications for the grants about two weeks ago, I must have gotten 60 calls,” said Barbara Pilegard, the city’s assistant planner. “I guess that means there was a lot more damage out there than we thought.”

The community development block grants come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Scott Whyte, development specialist for the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. They are funneled to the city through Los Angeles County.

Calabasas was hit particularly hard by the quake in terms of dollar value, he said. The city reported $48,450,000 in damage and was awarded $1,343,793 of the $3 million in federal funds that were available to seven area cities, he said.

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To qualify for grants, homeowners must have already filed a claim with their insurance companies, said Whyte. They must also have applied to the Small Business Administration, which offers disaster loans to homeowners.

If they can’t qualify for the loans, they would be referred to the state’s Individual and Family Grant Program. If any grants from that program fail to cover all the damage, the homeowner applies to the city, he said.

The city inspects the homes of each applicant to determine the extent of the damage, then meets with a review committee to decide whether to provide funds, said Pilegard. If the grant is approved, the city hires a contractor to do the work, then pays the contractor directly for the work.


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