More money needed for flood victims - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More money needed for flood victims

by Danielle Wagner

La Porte City (KWWL)  Barb and Dean Holman's La Porte City home is about halfway repaired after the June flood, but they need more money to finish and can't get it.

For now, the couple is living in a FEMA trailer, but the pipes keep freezing because it wasn't built for winter weather.

Barb Holman wants to know why she can't get the help she needs to move back into her flood-damaged home.

"There are a lot of people in La Porte City who suffered losses and took it upon themselves to dip into retirement accounts but we aren't in that position. We can't do that," said Barb Holman.

The Holman's did receive money from FEMA, but not enough to make all the repairs. They applied for help through various sources, including Jumpstart, but state Jumpstart money was gone before the Holman's got any.

Barb Holman tried applying for federal money but was denied.

"We were denied because we're $1660 more than federal income guidelines," said Holman.

According to what she found online, one in three people who need flood assistance are denied federal money due to income guidelines. She believes it's unfair.

"We didn't do anything wrong, unlike some of the other companies and corporations bailed out, rewarded for failing. We didn't fail. It was taken from us," she said.

Holman is contacting more agencies and legislators hoping to get answers and help. Until then, she and her husband will stay in a FEMA trailer with no water and little heat.

"We have a heater set up with a tank of propane in one end and a little electric heater in the other. We turn the oven on to 200 degrees and that's how we stay warm," said Holman.

Once a week, Holman goes to a hotel or a friend's to take a shower and do laundry. She said she won't stop fighting until she's back in her home.

The "Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments" told KWWL all the state Jumpstart money is allocated, and the state is transitioning to federal funding sources, which was always the plan.

If you don't make the federal income guidelines, like the Holman's, you must look at other options. The state asked the income guidelines be waived so more people would qualify for aid, but that request was denied.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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