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10th Service Center to Give Quake Aid : Recovery: The last two Valley disaster assistance facilities close. Help that was offered there will be available at the new site.

March 30, 1994|JULIO MORAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Federal and state disaster officials today will open the 10th service center to aid Northridge earthquake victims, after shutting down the last two Disaster Assistance Centers in the San Fernando Valley on Tuesday.

All services--including new applications--that had been provided at the application centers at the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Recreation Center and Balboa Recreation Center in Encino will be offered at the new Earthquake Service Center, 14144 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.

Officials said they were serving about 150 people a day at each of the two remaining assistance centers, with an average of about 30 a day applying for first-time aid.

In the days after the 6.8 temblor, more than 1,000 people a day visited each of the 21 assistance centers that were opened to help quake victims apply for federal, state and local aid, officials said.

The closure of the two Valley assistance centers leaves only one such center open--at the Hollywood Recreation Center. The 11th and last service center will be opened in the Hollywood area when a site is found, officials said. That last assistance center will then be closed.

On Tuesday, most of the new applicants who applied for aid at the Valley centers had intentionally waited until now--nearly two months after the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake--because damage to their residences was not severe, or they did not know if they qualified for government assistance.

Typical of the stragglers was Mike Andrioff, 34, of Encino. Andrioff walked into the Encino assistance center Tuesday simply to get information. But he wound up applying for assistance.

"I wasn't really sure if I qualified for anything, so I didn't apply right away," said Andrioff, whose home sustained a lot of interior and exterior cracks.

"But after getting some estimates on the repairs, I want to see if I qualify for any assistance. One quote I got was for $19,000 to repair the stucco."

At the Sherman Oaks center, Joseph Glantz, 71, and his wife, Phyllis, 55, of Sherman Oaks, said they were only now applying for assistance because they had been waiting to see what their personal and condo homeowners association insurance would cover.

They said they still don't know, but that they know they will have to pay a $10,000 deductible in any case.

"We're hoping to get a low-interest loan to pay for the things not covered by insurance," Phyllis Glantz said.

The new service center in Sherman Oaks will open at 1 p.m. today and close at 6 p.m. All service centers are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They are operated jointly by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

Since their opening, the assistance centers have served an average of 60,000 people a day, either in person or by phone. As of Monday night, more than 485,000 people had registered for disaster assistance. More than $600 million had been awarded to nearly 234,000 people in federal housing assistance grants.

The federal Small Business Administration, which provides low-interest loans to both homeowners and businesses, had approved loans totaling $655 million for 22,000 individuals and businesses.

The state Individual and Family Grant Program had disbursed $11 million to 10,000 individuals. And the state Employment Development Department had paid nearly $1.2 million in connection with 3,400 claims.

More than 19,000 federal certificates have been approved for temporary rental housing assistance.

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