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FEMA Temporary Housing Program Ending For Families Of Hurricanes Katrina And Rita

FEMA Temporary Housing Program Ending For Families Of Hurricanes Katrina And Rita

What happens to individuals and families still living in temporary housing units on May 1, 2009?

Since the temporary housing unit program was extended over two years ago, FEMA has been working with occupants to transition out of the program into more permanent homes.  Included in this work were several notifications of eventual termination.  In mid April of this year, FEMA notified applicants that Notices to Vacate were impending.  On May 1, FEMA will begin delivering Notices to Vacate to inform applicants that they must surrender the housing unit by May 30.  FEMA has been providing temporary housing for 44 months - 26 months longer than the statutory limit.

How many households does this affect?

There are 5,101 households still residing in either FEMA temporary housing units or in a hotel/motel as of April 28.  This is down from a high of over 143,000 individuals and households who were provided temporary housing under this program during the height of operations.  

What happens if participants refuse to vacate their temporary housing unit?

FEMA will continue to make every effort to assist individuals and families to find long-term housing to fulfill their needs. For those who do not vacate their housing unit by May 1, FEMA will follow its Lease Termination Policy for these individuals.  The process for termination includes the following steps:

Will FEMA continue case management services beyond May 1 for the participants?

Yes, FEMA continues to fund case management services.  The State of Mississippi has been providing case management services since July 2008.  Operating under a grant from FEMA, the State of Louisiana has requested an amendment to their current award..  FEMA will continue to assist Louisiana in the application of the case management services.  The period of performance for both grants is scheduled to end June 1.

What has FEMA done to assist pre-disaster owners whose homes are still being rebuilt?

FEMA contacts each household on a monthly basis to assist with their recovery by:

Do participants have the opportunity to purchase their temporary housing units as the program ends?

Yes. Many occupants have expressed interest in purchasing their temporary housing units.  FEMA gave residents in mobile homes and park models the opportunity to purchase the unit in which they currently are living under the Temporary Housing Units Sales-to-Occupants program.    

The sales program is open only to households currently residing in a mobile home or park model provided by FEMA.  Conditions of the sale include:

What Federal resources do States have to help families who remain in FEMA-provided temporary housing units?

The States have access to a number of Federal resources that could support the population still remaining in FEMA temporary housing units (THUs).  States could choose to prioritize Federal funds such as HUD's HOME funding.

In the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329), HUD received an additional $50 million for Project-Based Vouchers for areas impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  HUD is in the process of finalizing a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announcing this funding for additional Project-Based Vouchers. These vouchers will expand the number of affordable units within the Gulf Coast region and can be applied to either current housing stock or units being developed. The Project-Based Vouchers will be awarded competitively with the requirements fully detailed within the NOFA.  Housing authorities within the federally declared disaster areas for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are eligible to apply. This would extend current resources to assist both families currently on housing authority's waiting list as well as those currently served through FEMA's temporary housing assistance.

States can use their existing annual HOME funds to provide temporary and/or permanent rental assistance to eligible low-income THU families (only if this activity is in approved Action Plans). These are flexible Federal dollars to create affordable housing solutions for communities.  HUD is prepared to work with States that wish to explore the option of using HOME funds for TBRA purposes.

Last Modified: Friday, 01-May-2009 18:32:40 EDT