FEMA’s rental assistance may be valuable housing solution for Laura survivors

FEMA’s rental assistance may be valuable housing solution for Laura survivors
FEMA’s rental assistance may be valuable housing solution for Laura survivors

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Residents that have been displaced from their homes by Hurricane Laura may find FEMA’s rental assistance valuable.

FEMA rental assistance offers temporary grants to those impacted. So, they can pay for temporary housing while they work on permanent housing plans, such as repairing or rebuilding their home.

Options include renting an apartment, home or travel trailer, schools, homes, and places of worship.

Funds can be used for security deposits, rent, and the cost of essential utilities such as electricity, gas and water. Though, they may not be used for to pay for cable or Internet.

Survivors who live in Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Union, Vermilion, Vernon or Winn Parish, follow these steps if your home is uninhabitable and you need a place to stay:

  • File a claim with your insurance company.
    • Check with your homeowners or renters insurance agent about additional living expenses, or ALE, coverage as part of their policy that may assist in relocating to a temporary residence.
  • Also register for FEMA assistance.
    • If you have insurance, you should submit your settlement documents for review before FEMA can determine their eligibility status.
      • If your policy does not include ALE, or if you exhaust this coverage and your home remains uninhabitable, you may be eligible for rental assistance from FEMA.
        • Register by either going online, downloading the FEMA app, or by calling the helpline at (800)621-3362 or TTY (800)462-7585.
          • Survivors who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call (800)621-3362.
    • A FEMA inspector will contact applicants by phone to ask questions about the type and extent of damage. It may be necessary for FEMA to perform a remote inspection if an applicant reported they cannot or may not be able to safely live in their home.
      • It is important for FEMA to be able to contact applicants. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
      • Survivors should keep receipts for three years to show how they spent FEMA grants. If grant money is not used as outlined in the letter, survivors may have to repay FEMA and could lose eligibility for further federal assistance to help them with their Hurricane Laura recovery.

Survivors who had minimal damage and can live in their home will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection after registering with FEMA.

Survivors who find significant disaster-caused damage after registering can request an inspection.

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

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