New York, NY -- The New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) together are responding to the temporary housing needs of homeowners and renters who are victims of the World Trade Center attack.
Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., state coordinating officer (SCO) and Ted Monette, federal coordinating officer (FCO) are urging those who can not yet return to their home or whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the attack to register for assistance. "Our top priority is to make sure that everyone is living in safe, habitable and secure housing," said Jacoby.
In order to qualify for disaster housing assistance, applicants first call the FEMA registration number at 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585). FEMA's disaster housing assistance program offers help to New York disaster victims through rental assistance and home-repair grants.
- Rental assistance provides homeowners with an initial three months' rent and renters may receive funds for two months, while repairs are being made to make their homes livable. Homeowners or renters will receive a check for short-term rental assistance based on the fair market rates in their area. Applicants who must remain in temporary housing for a longer period than the check covers may request more assistance until their homes can be reoccupied or other permanent housing arrangements can be made. To make that request, applicants should call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
- Under the repair-grant program, up to $10,000 can be provided to homeowners to make essential repairs to make the home livable. The amount provided to homeowners is based on the extent of eligible uninsured damage under the program as verified by a FEMA inspection.
- A housing check for repairs is not intended to restore a damaged home to the condition it was in before the disaster, but to make the home safe and habitable. These costs might include home clean-up, or making repairs to doorways or windows to make them secure.
- Emergency mortgage and rental assistance provides assistance to eligible homeowners and renters who, as a result of the disaster, have lost their jobs or businesses and face foreclosure or eviction from their homes.
In order to provide the fastest assistance, a letter of explanation is mailed at approximately the same time as the check is issued. The U.S. Treasury Department issues the assistance check, while FEMA Human Services provides the letter explaining proper use of the disaster assistance.
The check and letter of explanation may not necessarily arrive on the same day. A notice will accompany the check, explaining that the funds are for disaster-related emergency needs, and that a letter explaining the appropriate use of disaster funds has been mailed.
All assistance provided by FEMA should be used as specified in writing: to rent another place to live, or to make the home repairs identified by FEMA. Failure to use the tax-free money as specified may make recipients ineligible for additional assistance. The notice also gives a Helpline number for people to call for additional information.