Direct temporary housing may provide options for Hurricane Ida survivors
Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021
BATON ROUGE — FEMA determines if applicants are eligible for housing assistance and pairs them with the best available housing solution to meet their household needs. Not everyone will be eligible; however, FEMA’s temporary housing options can provide support to survivors who qualify.
Applicants may be eligible for direct temporary housing if they are:
- Homeowners or renters whose home received major damage (significant structural damage that requires extensive repairs and is not safe, sanitary or functional to live in) or has been destroyed (total loss or damaged to such an extent that repair is not feasible) as a result of Hurricane Ida (based on the FEMA inspection);
- Pre-disaster residents of one of the 10 parishes designated for FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing assistance: Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa and Terrebonne.
What Happens Next?
If applicants meet the criteria for direct temporary housing, they will be contacted by FEMA.
Applicants who do not qualify for direct temporary housing may qualify for rental assistance. FEMA rental assistance provides temporary financial help, so disaster survivors have somewhere to live while they make plans for permanent housing.
Survivors who need a more immediate place to stay should register for the state’s Hurricane Ida Sheltering Program to find out what options are available in affected parishes. Visit idashelteringla.com or call 844-268-0301. The state-run program is funded by FEMA and was designed to provide a safe and private short-term shelter for households recovering from Hurricane Ida, while FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing assistance gains momentum. The state program is also intended to help prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19 among households.
Direct Temporary Housing Options Can Include:
- Transportable Temporary Housing Units – FEMA may place a travel trailer or Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU) on a private site or in a commercial park. FEMA may also coordinate with state and local officials to construct group sites for several transportable housing units.
- Applicants approved for a travel trailer or MHU must sign a Revocable License and Receipt of Government Property prior to moving into the unit.
- Direct Lease – FEMA may lease existing, ready-to-occupy residential properties for use as temporary housing. Eligible property types may include vacation rentals, corporate apartments, second homes, single-family homes, cooperatives, condominiums, townhouses, and other readily fabricated dwellings. Direct lease is for eligible applicants whose housing needs cannot be met with other direct temporary housing assistance options.
- Multi-family Lease and Repair – FEMA funds the repair or improvement of existing vacant multi-family rental properties that eligible applicants can use for temporary housing.
- Applicants approved for Multi-family Lease and Repair or Direct Lease must sign a temporary housing agreement with FEMA and an occupant lease with the property owner prior to moving into the unit.
The applicant’s need for direct temporary housing will be re-evaluated on a regular basis while participating in the Direct Temporary Housing program. To remain in a unit, all applicants must comply with the temporary housing agreement and, if applicable, the occupant lease. This includes demonstrating progress towards a permanent or longer-term housing plan.
You can apply for disaster assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 or by using the FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.