FEMA Direct Housing: Not a permanent solution

Published 3:04 am Saturday, May 8, 2021

Recovery for many Louisianans from hurricanes Laura and Delta includes rebuilding, repairing, finding new rentals or making plans to leave the temporary housing where they are now living.

To date, direct temporary housing has been provided to over 1,900 families from hurricanes Laura and Delta and just over 600 families remain on the list of eligible applicants to receive accommodations. Since housing the first applicant, almost 100 families have already moved out of their temporary homes. Direct housing options provided by FEMA, including manufactured housing units, travel trailers and other ready-to-occupy housing, are not intended to be permanent housing.

FEMA provides qualifying survivors direct temporary housing options for up to 18 months from the dates of the disaster declarations when no other housing options are available.    

Survivors must sign a FEMA temporary-unit occupancy license agreement which states that the licensee must have a valid, approved permanent housing plan and demonstrate routine progress towards accomplishing that plan.

Occupants of FEMA units must periodically provide proof of progress on their permanent housing plans or show evidence that delays are no fault of the occupants. Occupants may be asked to vacate FEMA units if insufficient or no progress is made on the plan. Examples of acceptable proof of progress documentation include:

  • Contracts or invoices for repairs;
  • Application/s for additional funds (SBA, bank, etc.);
  • Contracts for rebuilding, building or leasing a new home; or
  • Lists of properties with points of contact identified for real estate searches.

For situations beyond the occupants’ control, they can provide a detailed written or verbal explanation and provide a contact number of a person who can verify the information. FEMA recommends that survivors document their recovery process and permanent housing plans in a book or electronic file, including notes, dates, names, phone numbers, etc.

Applicants can contact FEMA by calling the Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should alert FEMA as to the specific number assigned to that service.

The deadline to contact FEMA regarding temporary housing assistance is Friday, May 28.

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit Louisiana Hurricane Laura (DR-4559-LA). For the latest information on Hurricane Delta, visit Louisiana Hurricane Delta (DR-4570-LA). Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

This article originally appeared on Leesville Daily Leader: FEMA Direct Housing: Not a permanent solution