BATON ROUGE, La. – At the request of the state, FEMA is currently providing about 1,946 households that are survivors of Hurricanes Laura and Delta with additional time to remain in agency-provided housing as they complete the final steps of their recovery. The original end for the program was scheduled for Feb.28.
The extension of the temporary housing program may allow occupants to complete their housing plan until Oct. 31. As of part of the extension and in agreement with the state, beginning on March 1, occupants will begin to be charged an income-related monthly rent that may be far below fair market rates for comparable properties. FEMA officials urge occupants to complete or follow through on any requests for rent reduction by February 28, the deadline to have their housing unit’s fair market rent estimate reduced.
FEMA’s housing program eligibility and continued occupancy is determined monthly for homeowners and on a bi-weekly basis for renters. To remain eligible, occupants must show they are making continuing progress on their permanent housing plan.
At the peak of the program, there were 2,400 eligible households licensed into FEMA-provided mobile homes, placed across 12 parishes. Close to 75% remain in their FEMA housing units.
Local, state and federal partners are stepping up efforts ahead of the new deadline to help eligible Laura and Delta survivors get into their repaired or new permanent homes.
FEMA and the State Joint Recertification housing teams continue to meet regularly with occupants to support the hard work it takes to get back into permanent housing. The teams routinely guide occupants to available resources and advise them on program requirements and deadlines.
Recovery officials note that several Louisiana communities passed temporary zoning exemptions to permit FEMA mobile homes on private property or in special floodplain hazard areas. Some exemptions were set to expire on the original end date of February 28. To be sure they are not in violation of local zoning ordinances, occupants are encouraged to check with their local officials.