Local News

Raleigh committee OKs assistance for some tornado victims

Posted May 24, 2011 2:52 p.m. EDT
Updated May 24, 2011 7:04 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh’s Budget and Economic Development Committee approved a measure Tuesday that would provide financial assistance to some city homeowners affected by last month’s tornadoes.

The proposal, which would be funded with $400,000 in uncommitted housing bonds, will be presented to the City Council at its next meeting on June 7.

Proposed by Councilman Eugene Weeks, who represents District C in southeast Raleigh, the program would provide up to $20,000 in deferred loans for low- and moderate-income homeowners who have exhausted other means of financial assistance to get their homes back to the city’s minimum living standards.

Other types of financial assistance would include homeowner’s insurance or grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

To qualify, applicants would have to have a maximum income ranging from $43,550 for a one-member household to $82,050 for an eight-member household, be in good standing with their mortgage and property taxes and have a homeowner’s insurance policy at closing.

The loans would be repaid to the city if the house is sold or the homeowner moves.

Some committee members expressed concern, in light of a tight budget, and said the city would be setting a precedent for damage caused by future storms.

The tornado ripped through portions of Raleigh on April 16, causing an estimated $115 million in damage and destroying 138 homes and damaging nearly 700 others.

The city has coordinated a benefit concert, Rise Up Raleigh, to help raise money for local charities assisting storm victims. Eleven local bands will play at the June 3 event at the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater, and donations will be accepted at the gate.