Who's getting money from FEMA in Vermont? What the data shows so far.
One month after the waters receded from Vermont's worst flooding in a decade, around 5,000 people have applied for recovery funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Just under 50% have received some form of aid.
A whopping $14 million has been distributed through FEMA's Individuals and Households Program as of Aug. 19 (when the data was last updated).
People are typically receiving several thousand dollars to start rebuilding, and much of the aid is going to people in hard-hit central Vermont.
The deadline to apply for assistance is Sept. 12.
Where are people applying for help?
Only people living within the nine counties declared disaster areas are eligible for individual assistance. Other counties in the state are able to apply for public assistance, which is reserved for governments and certain nonprofit organizations.
Barre and Montpelier had the most requests by far, with 855 and 369 applications, respectively.
What sort of aid is available?
FEMA's Individuals and Households Program is divided into two categories: housing assistance and other needs assistance.
Housing assistance covers rent or hotel costs for temporary housing, repair costs, and in rare cases, costs for replacing a home — so far five houses have been declared destroyed and eligible for replacement assistance.
Other needs assistance covers damaged possessions and expenses for disaster-related expenses like child care, moving and storage, and medical needs.
FEMA does not provide aid for items covered by other sources, including insurance.
Who was approved?
Just under 51% of applicants received some form of aid, but the amount distributed varies wildly based on the category of aid and the person receiving it.
How much aid did recipients get?
On average, Vermonters who qualified for housing assistance received $5,675; however, the data is heavily skewed by a small number of outliers. The median aid amount for housing assistance is $2,671.
For other needs assistance, the average payout is $1,063 while the median is $700.
How was the money distributed?
About 90% of aid distributed so far was through housing assistance. Of that amount, 77.8% was for repairs, 20.2% for rental assistance, and the remainder for replacing the six homes declared destroyed.
Note: The data used in this article is from the OpenFEMA API, which is updated weekly. It is not as up-to-date as FEMA's official numbers, which can be found here.
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