Elderly Female-Headed Households in the Disaster Loan Process

March 1999 (VOL. 17, NO. 1)

Download this article

The purpose of this exploratory research was to compare the income and approval rates of elderly single-female households and other types of households applying for disaster aid. Households from two parishes involved in the flooding in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, in May 1995 who applied for federal loans via the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Teleregistration Center were compared on demographics and outcomes. Data analysis showed that elderly single-female households were over-represented in the population applying to FEMA; two and one half times as likely as other elderly households or non-elderly households to have incomes of $11,000 or lower; and three times less likely than other elderly households to receive a low-interest loan. This Study indicates that the current federal low-interest loan program does not adequately address the needs of poor elderly women. Special initiatives are needed that target is population.\r\n\r\n