USDA Rural Development California State Director Kim Dolbow Vann announced today that staff from USDA agencies will be on hand at Southern California Local Assistance Centers to help agriculture producers, rural residents and communities recover from the effects of California wildfires.
“California has been hit hard by wildfires statewide this year, and we want our rural residents and communities to know we have programs that could help,” said Dolbow Vann. “We are committed to supporting the recovery of our impacted communities.”
Local Assistance Centers are now open:
- Lake View Terrace Recreation Center, 11075 Foothill Blvd., Los Angeles, 91342
- Tuesday – Friday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Closes December 16, 2017
- San Diego
- Vista Library, 700 Eucalyptus Ave., Vista, 92084
- Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Closes December 16, 2017
- Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Rd., Ventura, 93003
- Mondays – Saturdays 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Additionally, an emergency avocado and citrus post-wildfire informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 at the Fallbrook Public Utility Building, 990 E Mission Rd, Fallbrook, 92028 from 1 – 4 p.m.
“FSA has a number of programs to help wildfire-impacted producers get back on their feet,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, California FSA Executive Director. “I want to encourage farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to find out about resources available to them.”
Help For Producers
FSA will also be available to help farmers and ranchers with a range of disaster assistance including compensation for livestock death and feed losses, risk coverage for specialty crops,
- The Tree Assistance Program provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists to help them replant or rehabilitate trees damaged by natural disasters (separate from crop insurance).
- The Emergency Conservation Program offers funding and technical assistance to growers to help them rehabilitate land damaged by natural disasters. This program may provide cost share assistance for debris removal, land leveling and shaping, irrigation replacement, and cattle fencing.
- Emergency loans are available to producers located in counties that receive a primary or contiguous disaster designation.
Help for Communities
Rural communities that have been impacted by the fires can receive assistance through the Community Facilities Program to repair or rebuild essential community buildings and infrastructure and replace damaged equipment. Also, USDA can provide relief through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to help repair or rebuild rural water and wastewater systems in the aftermath of this disaster.
Help for Businesses
Rural Development can help businesses recover from the damage caused by wildfires by guaranteeing their business loans with eligible lenders through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program. Funds also may be available from Rural Development’s intermediary lenders.
Help for Housing
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is taking the lead to provide emergency housing for people who need it in these affected areas. FEMA may be contacted directly at 800-621-3362. Existing USDA home loan borrowers may qualify for assistance with their loan payments and should contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 414-1226.
Additional resources from USDA and other organizations for those impacted by disasters may also be found at https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ca.