MacArthur Unveils Still More Sandy Legislation
Shore Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-3) is continuing his efforts to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy.
MacArthur met with homeowners in Bayville on Tuesday to discuss the Disaster Survivors Benefit Clarification Act – which he says is necessary because Sandy victims who got loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) may now be ineligible for grants through the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) program. MacArthur says the problem arose due to the wording of the Stafford Disaster Relief Act.
“That act called a loan from the Small Business Administration a form of aid and said it was in conflict if you had gotten a RREM grant,” MacArthur said.
MacArthur says some 32,000 storm victims took SBA grants after the storm – to the tune of about $1.9 billion. He says many of them didn’t realize the loans could affect other aid.
“People had their homes underwater, the SBA came out and very aggressively – with good intentions – said ‘we’re here to help,'” MacArthur said.
MacArthur’s bill, which he plans to introduce when Congress reconvenes on Monday, would reclassify those loans so that borrowers could still be eligible for RREM grants. It would be retroactive to January 1, 2012, for homeowners whose SBA loans are in good standing.