April 19, 2022

Neguse, Hickenlooper, Bennet Welcome SBA Changes to Expand Eligibility for Families Rebuilding after Marshall Fire

Announcement comes after lawmakers urged SBA to better account for increased building costs 

 The lawmakers also called on SBA to increase the maximum value a homeowner can borrow to better reflect current housing prices 

 Lafayette, CO – Today, Congressman Joe Neguse and U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet applauded news that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) is updating the formula used to calculate the Disaster Loan Program amount survivors can borrow to rebuild after the Marshall Fire. The announcement means Marshall Fire survivors will be able to borrow an amount that better reflects today’s building costs.

The announcement follows a letter Neguse, Hickenlooper, and Bennet sent to Administrator Isabella Guzman in March urging the SBA to update the formula used in loan calculations because they no longer reflected actual building costs in Colorado. They also called on SBA to increase the overall maximum of a loan to better reflect housing prices in 2022. The maximum was last updated in 1994.

Marshal Fire survivors can learn more about the SBA Disaster Loan Program, including how to apply, by clicking HERE.

“Today’s announcement is an important step for the thousands of families impacted by the Marshall Fire,” said Congressman Neguse. “The initial estimates of the damage caused did not accurately reflect the actual costs of rebuilding nor did they take into account the length of time such efforts will take. We will keep pushing for proper support of all Coloradans impacted by this unprecedented disaster until all of our communities can fully recover.”

“SBA Disaster Loans are a lifeline for survivors,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “Updating how SBA calculates building costs is a great first step, but we also need to update borrowing limits to reflect today’s all-time high home prices.” 

“I'm pleased to see SBA expand access to disaster loans for survivors of the Marshall Fire,” said Senator Bennet. “This disaster tore through our communities, leaving millions of dollars in damage and destruction. As Coloradans continue to rebuild, we will keep working with the administration to ensure survivors can access the federal support needed to help cover the cost of reconstruction.”

Specifically, the announcement will double the geographic multiplier used for the Disaster Loan Assistance Home and Personal Property Loans Program to compensate for higher building costs in Colorado.

Low-interest SBA disaster loans support those looking to replace or repair their primary residence and personal effects. The maximum amount a homeowner can borrow to rebuild is $200,000 and has not changed since 1994, despite inflation and rising home values. The maximum loan amount to replace household and personal effects is $40,000 and has not been raised since 1994.

Background:

Congressman Neguse has been instrumental in ensuring proper cost coverage in the aftermath of the Marshall Fire. In March, following a previous letter from neguse, Hickenlooper, and Bennet, FEMA agreed to cover the costs of removing foundations, basements and burned vehicles damaged in the Marshall Fire. The coverage is extremely rare and has only been granted for a handful of other wildfires in recent years. He also worked with Colorado Governor Jared Polis and President Joe Biden to ensure an expedited Major Disaster Declaration was issued and that Individual Assistance would be approved to provide financial assistance to all uninsured or underinsured households.

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