The federal disaster relief office to assist victims of the massive Jan. 6 fire in downtown Shelton will open in Shelton City Hall at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Residents and businesses affected by the blaze that destroyed much of a city block on Howe Avenue can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center.

The office will be in Room 104 at City Hall, 54 Hill St., Shelton. It will remain open until the end of the business day on Thursday, Feb. 6.

Hours will be weekdays from 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 1 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The office will be closed on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Personnel can assist applicants

SBA customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

Officials said loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and loans up to $40,000 are available to homeowners and renters to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size also may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

Low interest rates, long terms

Interest rates are as low as 2.25% for homeowners and renters, 2.625% for nonprofit organizations, and 4% for businesses, with terms up to 30 years.

Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

Applicants also may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.