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Imperial County awarded $4.4 million grant to assist families impacted by Niland fire

The grant money will help those who are income eligible and owners of the homes that were lost

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - After a tragic fire in June 2020 where 43 homes were destroyed, Imperial County applied for a grant to help those that lost their homes.

It was a long two year process but Imperial County was finally awarded a $4.4 million grant to assist families and individuals impacted by the fire in Niland.

The grant was applied for by Esperanza Colio, Imperial County Deputy CEO.

"We held a public hearing and then we surveyed the community to check how many of those residents own their property because this program is specific to residents that own their property. It's not for a mobile home park or anything like that," explained Colio.

With the survey, Colio found there were 18 residents that own their property that could not replace their home because they didn't have the funds.

"We estimated that each one of the houses are going to be somewhere in between $230,000 to rebuild the homes and we're talking about a very tiny home. It's not a large house," Colio said.

Colio said the county submitted the application for the grant in May 2021 and received the approval notification at the end of March 2022.

According to the Deputy CEO, it took a year for the grant to be approved because the county had to file environmental documents for clearance in the whole area of colonia Niland.

As of right now, 13 families are still living in the mobile home park and others are living with family members or moved away because they knew they couldn't replace their homes, according to Colio.

"So this grant actually brings hope for them recover their home and to go back to their community and all of them want to go back to their community. They have been living in the community for 20-30 years, You can't take them from their own community, they feel comfortable in their community," said Colio.

She says with the amount given, the county believes they will be able to assist between 18 to 20 families and expects the executed contract for the funding to be arriving in June 2022.

Article Topic Follows: Imperial County

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Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA team in 2022 and is the anchor/producer for CBS at 4 p.m.

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