San Fernando : Block Grant Funds Go for Quake Repairs

The San Fernando City Council has budgeted Federal Community Development Block Grant funds to be used for the rehabilitation of commercial buildings that were damaged by the Northridge earthquake.

The funds will be distributed to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis, City Administrator Mary Strenn said. About $208,500 has been made available for the program, and interest so far has been considerable, officials said.

The money will be provided either in grants of as much as $7,500 for each approved construction project or in loans of as much as $100,000 per project. The money may be used only for rehabilitation of buildings in primary commercial areas. Those locations include Maclay Avenue, Mission Boulevard, South Brand Boulevard, Truman Street, San Fernando Road and Celis Street, officials said.

Eligible improvements include exterior rehabilitation and repair, facade reconfiguration, seismic upgrades and modifications to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants must currently own the property to be repaired and must have been the owner at the time of the earthquake.

In addition, applicants must already have exhausted other available funding sources, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, and private insurance policy funds.

For more information, call the city's Community Development Department at (818) 898-1227.

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