Chicago Building Explosion Disaster Declaration-SBA

Collapsed Building
Courtesy of ABC7Chicago/WLS

Collapsed Building
Courtesy of NBC Chicago

Chicago
– Today the Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved a disaster declaration for the apartment building at Central and West End in the Austin neighborhood in Chicago which was devastated by an explosion and building collapse on September 20. One man died in the fire and seven others were injured. This disaster declaration will allow residents, condo homeowners, and businesses to apply for low-interest loans for damages not covered by insurance.

“Victims of the September 20th Chicago apartment building explosion deserve all of our available resources to heal and rebuild,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Thanks to the leadership of IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau and the Small Business Administration, families and residents can apply for low-interest loans for damages that are not covered by insurance—one of the many ways that we are providing financial relief during this time of tragedy and uncertainty. My heart goes out to all of the Illinoisans who were affected by this devastating explosion—and please know the State of Illinois stands with you and is here to support you in your recovery efforts.” 

SBA staff will be at the Austin Town Hall Park located at 5610 W. Lake Street Chicago, Illinois 60644 starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 6 to help residents with their applications. The Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Monday October 10, the Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center closes permanently at 4 p.m. on October 20th

“We requested a disaster declaration on behalf of the families who were left homeless by this explosion and subsequent structural collapse,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Illinois is very grateful to the SBA because it will help these families rebuild their lives. Some of these residents lost not just the structure of their home, but everything they owned. I encourage every resident affected by the explosion to apply for one of these loans.”

“I commend Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her quick and thoughtful work to pull together her administration and Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) Executive Director Rich Guidice a huge part in helping these residents recover,” said Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau.

“We are grateful to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for their continued efforts in assisting Chicago residents who have been impacted by this explosion,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Increased availability of loans will give residents yet another option to consider in their collective road to recovery. I am also grateful for our close partnership with IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau and other statewide agencies. By working in lock step with IEMA, first responders, and local aldermen, we were able to respond nimbly to resident needs and provide the best possible services during this difficult time."

Homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 in low-interest loans to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners or renters can apply for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses and not-for-profits can borrow up to $2 million for physical damages. Details on loans are available at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/.

This declaration covers Cook County and the adjacent counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, Henry, and Will counties in Illinois, plus Lake County, Indiana. SBA staff will be onsite at the Austin Town Hall Park starting Thursday, October 6 to help residents with their applications.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): www.Ready.Illinois.gov