WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., as well as Senators Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Mark Warner, D-Va., and Jim Webb, D-Va., today sent a letter to Small Business Administrator Karen Mills requesting that the Small Business Administration (SBA) review its existing authority under the Stafford Act to assist homeowners and businesses in the wake of growing complaints over homes tainted with Chinese-made drywall.
“The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an important role in disaster response and recovery efforts – helping both homeowners and businesses impacted by manmade and natural disasters,” Sens. Landrieu, Nelson, Warner, and Webb said in the letter.
This request comes as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports it has received 608 complaints from 21states and the District of Columbia against imported Chinese-made drywall. Among the most serious of the complaints are metal corrosion, noxious fumes and health concerns such as bloody nose, skin irritation, headaches and insomnia.
Specifically, Sens. Landrieu, Nelson, Warner, and Webb are asking the SBA to review the following:
- Whether SBA may disburse additional funds to address drywall repairs from SBA homeowner disaster loans from previous disaster or emergency declarations (such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the 2004 Florida Hurricanes, the 2008 Midwest floods, or other emergency/disaster declarations) or provide waivers of the two-year time limit for homeowners seeking to request this additional funding
- Whether SBA, after a Governor has declared a disaster or emergency, may make a physical disaster declaration if homes, businesses or a combination of the two, have sustained uninsured losses as a result of Chinese-made drywall; and
- Whether SBA may make an economic injury declaration, after a Governor has declared a disaster or emergency, if it is demonstrated that certain numbers of businesses in a declared disaster area have suffered economic injury as a result of Chinese-made drywall products and are in need of financial help not otherwise available.
“Families in our states are, in many cases, watching their dream homes turn into nightmares,” the senators said. “As the Federal government determines the full size and scope of this disaster, we believe it is important to marshal all appropriate Federal resources that may assist these families.”
Please click here to find the letter sent today.