The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging the 10,000 households in hotels and motels to find alternative housing — or risk paying lodging bills themselves with their FEMA housing assistance funds. The families were displaced following Hurricane Katrina.
“FEMA is making great strides in helping families transition to longer term housing,” said Scott Wells, the federal coordinating officer. “It is important that people recognize FEMA’s hotel/motel program will end soon, and individuals and families must take ownership to find suitable housing.”
According to FEMA, now is the time for families living in hotels and motels to make important decisions on future housing options. Individuals and families must take an active role in their own recovery. FEMA will not be able to continue to help those who turn down the help we provide or refuse to use their FEMA-provided rental assistance for rent.
Once the hotel/motel program comes to an end, applicants will have no less than two weeks from the date they receive housing assistance or notification that they are ineligible to make longer term arrangements. (Three weeks from the date assistance or notification is mailed from FEMA).
Applicants can locate housing solutions by:
* Registering with FEMA and calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Calling the FEMA Housing Locator at 1-800-762-8740 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
* Talking with FEMA Community Relations teams who are visiting and calling evacuees about registering with FEMA to get assistance and find places to call home.
* Registering with HUD’s KDHAP program; call the KDHAP Referral Call Center at 1-866-373-9505.
* Logging on to the Disaster Housing Resources Online website www.dhronline.org to search for available rental properties throughout the country.
Applicants can use housing assistance received from FEMA to rent apartments or homes in states across the nation and in some parts of Louisiana. An applicant can also request a travel trailer or mobile home to be located on their own private property or on a group site in the State of Louisiana.
If an applicant has lived in public housing or was homeless and living in a disaster-impacted area, the individual may be eligible for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program, which provides a voucher for available public housing elsewhere in the nation.
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