Following the extreme destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Louisiana, along with local parishes, are considering all possibilities for temporary emergency housing.
Thousands of individuals and families have been displaced and will need to find a new place to live while the Gulf Coast of Louisiana rebuilds. The following questions and answers will help clarify the federal temporary housing process:
What plans are in place to provide places to live?
FEMA and the State of Louisiana are looking at all options to house people who were displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Among those considered are existing rental resources, such as hotels and apartments, and manufactured housing, such as travel trailers and mobile homes. Every possible alternative is being explored.
Where will people be housed?
Wherever feasible, FEMA provides temporary housing in or near individuals’ and families’ neighborhoods. However, safety is paramount. If an area is unsafe due to contamination or is unfit for habitation for another reason, alternate locations will be considered.
Who is eligible to apply for housing assistance?
Any individual or family who was displaced from their primary residence may be eligible for financial housing assistance. Individuals and families that cannot find a suitable housing alternative might be eligible to receive help from FEMA in the form of temporary emergency housing.
What is the housing application process?
Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or log on to www.fema.gov and put in an application for federal and state assistance. For the speech or hearing impaired, call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
FEMA representatives will then make contact to determine eligibility for temporary housing under this program. To help FEMA representatives contact applicants, it is very important when filing the application to give a call-back number where they can be reached. If applicants do not have a working telephone, they should inform call center staff at the time of their applications. Staff is trained to work around missing information.
For how long will people be allowed to live in this housing?
Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation. People in temporary housing will be allowed to stay until permanent housing solutions become available.
Must people pay for this housing?
Temporary housing is free. Individuals and families whose insurance does not cover rental expenses will not have to pay.
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