Those still living in FEMA trailers to pay rent
Published 4:17 am Monday, March 21, 2022
Survivors of Hurricanes Laura and Delta who are living in FEMA-provided temporary housing units will start paying a monthly rent. Survivors of Hurricane Laura will start paying rent April 1 and survivors of Hurricane Delta will start paying rent on May 1.
The rent amount is based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Market Rent, which may be reduced by FEMA based on the household’s combined post-disaster income. In many cases, survivors may end up paying rents far below fair market rates for comparable properties.
Occupants who provide verifiable documentation of their post-disaster income that meets or is below the HUD Very Low-Income Limit will qualify for the fully reduced rent of $50 per month. Households with total combined incomes above the HUD Very Low-Income Limit who wish to request a lower rental rate will have to provide documentation of post-disaster income and any current housing costs (mortgages, etc.) to calculate their financial ability to pay rent and the amount of rent to be charged.
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Based on a request from the date, FEMA approved an extension to Oct. 31 for about 1,750 households occupying direct housing units through the direct housing program for Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Normally, direct Temporary Housing Assistance ends 18 months from the date a disaster is declared. For Laura occupants, the end date was Feb. 28 and it is April 30 for Delta. As part of the extension and in compliance with federal regulations, survivors who remain in their units beyond 18 months from the date of the federal disaster declaration will be charged a monthly rent.
Survivors have the right to appeal the rent amount they will be charged. To appeal:
• Provide a written and signed explanation on why the rent cannot be paid.
•Provide verifiable documents showing housing costs (mortgage statement, rent receipts, insurance, utilities, etc.). Also, provide documents showing all income (such as paystubs, W-2, tax return, proof of income letter, etc.) for all adult members of the household (18 or older). Make sure to include the FEMA application number and disaster number on all pages of all submitted documents.
• Send documents:
Mail: Louisiana Integration and Recovery Office, 1500 Laurel St., Baton Rouge LA 70802
Sending an appeal does not guarantee the appeal will be granted, and it does not extend the time allowed to occupy the FEMA Unit. Appeals for both Laura and Delta applicants are due by May 11.
While an appeal is being reviewed, rent will continue to be charged on the first day of every month.