Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County Program to Help Repair Homes Damaged in Thomas Fire

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Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County has created a new program designed to assist people whose homes were damaged in the Thomas Fire.

The nonprofit, known for partnering with people to help them build or improve homes, is now looking to help people impacted by the Thomas Fire, which broke out near Santa Paula on Dec. 4 and burned nearly 282,000 acres before it was contained in January.

The organization is asking people interested in the program to fill out an online questionnaire to determine their eligibility for rebuilding assistance. Habitat plans to focus on low- to moderate-income families that had no or only partial homeowners insurance.

People are required to supply a Federal Emergency Management Agency registration number to apply.FEMA, a government agency that coordinates responses to disasters, gives registration numbers to those who apply for assistance after a disaster.

“We’ve talked to a few families, and a lot of them are still going through the aftermath and the grief of losing so much in the fire,” McIver said. “Some of them are only now planning out the next steps, and we want to let them know to not hesitate to tell us what their situation is.”

Funds for the $100,000 program primarily came from the Ford Foundation and United Way, McIver said.

McIver said it was difficult to determine the exact number of homes that could be repaired, as each repair project would have varying costs. She said that the program would primarily focus on repair projects over full housing rebuilds.

If the organization receives further funding, it’s possible that Habitat could work on rebuilding entire homes lost in the Thomas Fire in addition to performing repairs, McIver said.

Besides the new program, Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County is still giving out $200 vouchers for its Habitat ReStores, which are discount home improvement stores that sell furniture, building supplies and appliances.

Like the new housing repair program, residents are required to provide Habitat with their FEMA registration number to apply for a voucher. If eligible, residents can claim their voucher at Habitat for Humanity Ventura County’s Oxnard office at 1850 Eastman Ave. Those seeking vouchers must be registered at http://venturacountyrecovers.org.

Funds for the vouchers came from a $5,000 grant from the Ventura County Community Foundation.

More information about Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County’s Thomas Fire programs and the online form are available at https://www.habitatventura.org/wildfire-rebuild/.

Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County has built 65 new homes and repaired hundreds more in the county in the past 33 years.

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