FEMA Mobile Home, Travel Trailer Occupants Must be Recertified

January 31, 2006

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have begun the process in Louisiana to review the eligibility of occupants living in FEMA travel trailers and mobile homes.

FEMA and the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) continue to assist Louisianans with their housing needs, leasing occupants into travel trailers and mobile homes. In order to continue to occupy a temporary housing unit, occupants must make an ongoing effort to obtain permanent housing at the earliest possible date and accept adequate alternate housing when it becomes available.

Occupants must develop and pursue a permanent housing plan while staying in FEMA-provided temporary housing. Renters should contact their previous landlords to find out if they will be permitted to move back into their previous unit. Homeowners should follow-up with contractors on the progress of repair/rebuilding work.

FEMA personnel can refer those with special needs to state programs and voluntary agencies. Occupants with no housing options will be given information to help them find available lodging.

“The units FEMA brought in to ease Louisiana’s housing shortage after the hurricanes provide renters and homeowners with a safe, sanitary and functional place to live while repairs are made on their permanent homes,” said Scott Wells, the Federal Coordinating Officer. “It is now time to begin getting people back to more permanent arrangements.”

More than $3.2 billion in the form of rental assistance and home repairs has been distributed to Louisianans affected by the two hurricanes.

“FEMA, state officials and property owners continue to work in partnership during the recovery phase of these disasters,” said Wells. “As federal dollars are disbursed, we hope Louisianans make necessary repairs. We know renters and homeowners want to move back into their permanent residences as quickly as possible.”

Those who have secured alternative housing and who need additional funds must request that assistance through the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. They will be asked to show that they have a continued housing need and have expended all rental funds previously received. FEMA housing personnel will regularly follow-up on the efforts of occupants of the travel trailers and mobile homes to obtain permanent housing. This information will assist in determining recertification for staying in a mobile home or travel trailer. Recertification is the process by which FEMA reviews plans for permanent housing.

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