FEMA rental assistance provides temporary financial help so disaster survivors have somewhere to live while they make plans for permanent housing.

Hurricane Laura survivors can use the money to rent a house, apartment, travel trailer, manufactured home, tiny home, recreational vehicle (RV) or other option that meets their temporary housing needs while their homes are repaired or until they permanently move to new dwellings. Rental assistance can be also be used to place a housing unit at an RV park pad for an RV they own, rent or borrow.

Every household is unique, so each family will need to carefully consider housing arrangements that work best for it. Families may want to look for options near their jobs, schools, homes and places of worship.

Rental Assistance is intended to cover the monthly rent amount (including lot rent, if applicable) and cost of essential utilities such as gas, electric, water, oil, trash and sewer. It does not include the cost of telephone, cable, TV or internet service.

FEMA awards eligible applicants initial rental assistance based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Market Rents data, established by HUD for the parish where the pre-disaster residence is located and the number of bedrooms the household requires.

  • Two months of initial rental assistance is awarded to eligible owners and renters whose pre-disaster homes require repairs to return them to a safe, sanitary and functional condition.
  • Applicants whose homes are inaccessible (damage unknown) or without basic utility services (no other damage) will receive just one month of rental assistance unless further arrangements are made.
  • The maximum amount of rental assistance available is 18 months, plus one additional month for a security deposit.
  • Applicants will need to provide supporting documentation that includes a contract or lease that clearly lists the monthly rental amount and security deposit, if applicable, and rent receipts.
  • The applicant will also be asked to submit information about family income.

Grant recipients must contact FEMA if continued rental assistance is needed after the initial amount is provided. There is no guarantee of continued rental assistance beyond the initial amount.

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.