$21 million OK'd for Tropical Storm Debby victims

Housing assistance still top need in Florida

More than a month after Tropical Storm Debby hit Florida, $21 million in state and federal aid has been approved to help those affected by the storm and flooding.

In a press release issued Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reports more than 12,000 storm survivors have contacted the agency.

According to the release many people are seeking housing assistance from FEMA because their "primary home is unlivable or inaccessible."

FEMA has a helpline that operates as a sort of information network for survivors who have needs other than federal assistance.

The helpline (800-621-3362), serves as a single source of information - referring survivors to "partner agencies" including the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Other callers may be interested in disaster unemployment assistance or legal aid. Businesses are also referred to the SBA.

The release outlined "a snapshot" of the disaster recovery effort as of Friday:
• 4,190 households approved for FEMA grants that assist with housing and personal property loss.
• $14.8 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance, home repair and replacement costs.
• $1.9 million approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
• $4.3 million approved for SBA low-interest disaster loans to help repair homes and replace damaged personal property.
• 9,233 home inspections completed.
• 6,721 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.

Copyright 2012 by ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.