UPDATE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA: INTERIM HOUSING ASSISTANCE

 

What is this?

FEMA is offering additional types of housing assistance to eligible FEMA registrants, including:

·         Mobile homes for up to 18 months (MHUs); and

·        Housing for up to 18 months in multifamily housing units (apartments) leased by FEMA and repaired or improved using FEMA financial assistance.

Manufactured Housing Units Program (MHUs)

 

These are manufactured homes built according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards and FEMA contract requirements. These mobile homes can be made  available to certain qualified applicants in certain locations, as allowed by FEMA requirements and parish or local zoning.

·         FEMA identifies and calls eligible applicants who meet certain criteria, such as being a property owner with property damages in excess of $17,000 or more, or renters whose rental home was destroyed by the event.

·         FEMA makes a follow-up call to eligible applicants that meet the criteria to find out if they are still interested in obtaining a manufactured home, if they have a zoned sited on their property, or if they are interested in the other site options that FEMA has identified.

·         Once that information has been obtained, FEMA then coordinates with the state, parish, local, and other partners to facilitate the move-in.

·         These manufactured homes range from one- to three-bedroom units and are provided based on the size of your household pre-disaster. They are maintained by FEMA on a monthly basis. FEMA may also provide manufactured homes which are built to Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards for eligible applicants and can provide ramps or platform steps to accommodate accessibility needs.

·         These manufactured homes may be placed on a private site, such as an eligible applicant’s private property, a pre-existing commercial park, or, as a last resort, on a group site approved by local officials and constructed and maintained by FEMA. In addition, the site cannot be located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

 

Multi-Family Lease and Repair Program (MFLRP)

 

Working with state Housing Task Force partners, FEMA identifies potential buildings that, with some FEMA financial assistance, could be fairly quickly and with moderate expense, repaired to go back into commerce, so that they can be offered as temporary housing for FEMA applicants. Then FEMA makes contact with the property owner or landlord, to see if they wish to list their property, or property owners can apply.

 

Similar programs have worked successfully in both Vermont and Texas. FEMA typically looks to locate and lease larger-scale complexes that are able to serve a considerable number of people in a single location. Each site must have been previously used as multifamily housing and contain five or more rental units. In addition, the site must be able to be repaired within two months and cannot be located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

 

·         Under this program, there is no rental cost for the eligible applicant. The repair costs are funded by FEMA and the value of these repairs are deducted from the value of the lease agreement between FEMA and the property owner.

·         FEMA identifies registered applicants in need of a rental property, reviews for eligibility and then connects the eligible applicant to participating property owners.

·         Both the applicant and the property owner sign terms and conditions with FEMA. However, the applicant and the property owner enter into a standard lease agreement to which FEMA is not a party.

·         The property owner cannot subject FEMA applicants to different or additional criteria from other tenants and must comply with Fair Housing requirements. In addition, in cases where FEMA contracts directly with the property owner for repairs, the property owner must fulfill the terms of that agreement.

·         Applicants are required to maintain contact with FEMA and go through a recertification process to determine their continued eligibility. Applicants deemed ineligible for the continued assistance may be given the option to sign a standard lease with the property owner or vacate the rental unit.

·         If you are a property owner and are interested in repairing your rental property and assisting flooding survivors, please call 225-382-1464 or email FEMA at fema-ia-dhops@fema.dhs.gov.

Who is eligible?

Apply for FEMA disaster assistance at 1-800-621-FEMA or www.disasterassistance.gov to be considered for eligibility. To remain eligible to stay in a mobile home (MHU) or in an MFLRP property, applicants must demonstrate a continued housing need and show progress toward a permanent housing solution. FEMA may provide these housing options for up to 18 months following a disaster declaration.  In extraordinary circumstances, the State may request an extension.