Pee Dee Realtors Association offering help to Matthew victims

Pee Dee Realtors Association offering help to Matthew victims

FLORENCE, (WMBF) - Those who suffered property damage to their primary residence as a result of Hurricane Matthew can now apply for help.

The Pee Dee Realtors Association is partnering with the National Association of Realtors and the Realtors Relief Foundation to provide almost $200,000 in assistance.

Each applicant can receive up to $1,000 for relief assistance. This is a new initiative that started on Team South Carolina Day in Marion with Gov. Nikki Haley.

During the event, the Association handed out 200 applicants to Marion County residents. Keon Aldrich, vice president of the Pee Dee Realtor Association, said she wants people all around the Pee Dee to know this help now exists.

"We want to let them know we're here not only to see housing to them, but we're also here to do whatever we can," Aldrich said. "This was a horrible event. I mean my family was affected by it. We know so many people that were affected by it that we are more than happy to do what we have to do, or do what we can do."

Aldrich explained the easiest thing to do is go to the main Florence office on Celebration Boulevard and pick up an application. People must be full-time residents of South Carolina, provide proof of mortgage or a rent statement, and show photos of damage and insurance and repair estimates.

The Pee Dee Realtors Association covers six counties and five of those are declared a disaster recovery county. Aldrich said their goal is to help homeowners get back on their feet.

"I definitely understand where they are coming from," she said. "A thousand dollars may not fix everything, but every little bit would help."

Bert Belk, a Florence homeowner who manages four properties in the city, agrees.

"I've lost a rental on this house for a while, and I've got about $9,000 in this roof," he said.

Belk added the $9,000 worth of repairs is to replace shingles from the roof that were blown off the day of Hurricane Matthew. He said his other properties have flood, roof and tree damage.

"I think it's something that a lot of people don't know about, and a lot of people didn't have enough damage to cover their deductible," Belk said. "Not all insurance companies are settling properly and people are getting less money than they anticipated. So, that thousand dollars would help a lot."

Aldrich added the money can go towards a rent or mortgage monthly bill.

There is no deadline to apply and the assistance will continue being offered until the money is gone. To find the application and qualifications, click here or email a request for an application to

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