May 12, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Low-Interest Loans Available to Residents and Businesses Affected By March 29 Fire in Brooklyn

Governor Cuomo Announces Low-Interest Loans Available to Residents and Businesses Affected By March 29 Fire in Brooklyn

At Governor’s Request, Dozens of Property Owners and Renters Eligible For Financial Assistance from Small Business Administration

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that, at his request, low-interest federal loans are available to dozens of residents and businesses affected by the March 29, 2016 apartment building fire on DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn. The fire caused major damage to 28 units, seven businesses and one non-for-profit organization. The loans will provide financial assistance to replace real estate, personal property, and other losses of property owners and renters.

“This fire dealt a devastating hand to many residents and businesses in this Brooklyn neighborhood – but today the recovery process is moving forward,” Governor Cuomo said. “I thank our federal partners for working quickly to provide support and urge those affected by this fire to take advantage of this assistance to help rebuild.”

Following the fire, U.S. Small Business Administration, local and state emergency management teams performed a damage assessment of the site. Sufficient damage was determined to be present to warrant a Physical Disaster Declaration, as requested by Governor Cuomo on April 29, thus activating eligibility for low-interest loans. The Declaration includes Kings and the adjacent counties of New York, Queens and Richmond.

Under the Declaration, the following groups may be eligible for loans:

  • Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate
  • Homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property
  • Business owners: up to $2 million for the replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses
  • Businesses and non-profits: Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster

Interest rates on the loans can be as low as 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for non-profit organizations, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the U.S. Small Business Administration and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

The application can be completed online here, or downloaded here and mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez said: “After disasters like this, a low-interest SBA loan can help renters, homeowners and businesses get back on their feet and recover. I encourage those affected by this horrific fire to look into this initiative and not hesitate to contact my office if they need help navigating the program and securing assistance.”

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said: “The March 29th fire was a tragic event that left many victims in its wake. Access to capital is vitally important now as families, small business and other community members move forward to rebuild their lives. By offering low interests rates, opening a loan application center, and providing available onsite assistance, help will be available to the victims of the DeKalb Avenue apartment building fire. The decision by the Small Business Administration to grant disaster loans to those impacted is a critical part of the recovery and I applaud the efforts of Governor Cuomo’s administration to help to rebuild this community.”

To provide assistance to residents and business owners wishing to file an application, the Small Business Administration will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the New York Police Department Patrol Borough North located at 179 Wilson Avenue in Brooklyn.

The Outreach Center will be open: Tuesday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; May 18 - 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Outreach Center will be closed on Sunday, and reopen May 23 – 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Outreach Center’s final day will be Thursday, May 26 and will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Applicants will be assisted on a first-come, first served basis.

Assistance is also available by calling the Small Business Administration's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected].

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is July 11, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is February 10, 2017.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

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