UCLA to offer grants, loans to individuals with cars damaged in flood
By Jeong Park
Aug. 15, 2014 6:58 p.m.
The original version of this article contained an error and has been changed. See the bottom of the article for more information.
Starting Thursday, UCLA will offer grants to individuals whose cars were damaged in the July 29 flood on campus.
The university also began offering short-term interest-free loans for faculty, staff and students earlier this week.
The university launched a crowdfunding campaign shortly after the flood on the university-operated UCLA Spark website and it has collected about $56,000 for the Chancellor’s Emergency Flood Relief Fund, said UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton.
Money from the Chancellor’s Emergency Flood Relief Fund will automatically go to about 260 people whose vehicles were either totaled or seriously damaged based on assessments by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Hampton said.
To opt out of the grant, individuals should file a form before Wednesday at 9 a.m. Each person will be paid at least $214, though the amount may increase if some people choose not to accept the grants.
On Thursday, checks will be held at the James West Alumni Center for pickup, Hampton said. He added that the university will do its best to ensure everyone who wants to receive funding gets a check.
On Wednesday, the university announced it would provide interest-free short-term loans of up to $5,000 to faculty and full-time employees whose cars suffered significant damage in the flood. Individuals have until Sept. 12 to submit loan requests.
Loans are available within five working days after an agreement is reached with the university, Hampton said. He said the loan comes from a campus fund and that repayment will start in October over a two-year period through payroll deduction.
Maria Blandizzi, interim dean of students and chair of the Economic Crisis Response Team at UCLA, said the team is facilitating short-term no-interest loans of up to $3,000 and grants of up to $4,000 for students affected by the flood. Students may request the loans by contacting the team by email at [email protected]
Sina Famenini, a fourth-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student, said he appreciates UCLA’s effort to help the community get back to normal.
Because his 2013 Chevrolet Camaro was significantly damaged in the flood, however, Famenini said the $214 will not cover much of his losses. He said he plans to use the aid to cover the costs of replacing some textbooks ruined during the flood.
Eric Bollens, a software architect at the UCLA Office of Information Technology whose car was damaged in the flood, said he plans to use the grant to help replace his car.
“It means a lot as you watch the money come in,” Bollens said. “At the same time, from a practical perspective, it’s not enough to dig out of your hole.”
The funds are intended to help meet individuals’ short-term needs while some wait for reimbursement from insurance providers, Hampton said. The total amount of money raised is not final because people may still donate to the campaign until the fund is disbursed on Thursday.
Correction: Bollens will use the grant to help replace his car.