AUSTIN, Texas -- A new housing resource is available online to help individuals and families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The Housing Portal website, operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides listings of available rental property throughout the United States.
The website - rims.fema.gov/hportal/home.htm - allows people to search for housing by state, city, county, or zip code. Users can specify their exact housing needs. The listings include information such as handicap accessibility, number of bedrooms, amount of deposit, and included appliances and utilities. Rental properties are also available in the Gulf Coast area.
People can also access the Housing Portal through www.fema.gov. Select RECOVER & REBUILD at the top of the page, click on FIND A PLACE TO STAY on the right. Then click on SEARCH FOR INFORMATION ABOUT HOUSING RENTAL RESOURCES at the bottom of the page. The site is updated regularly so users should check it often.
FEMA urges applicants to update their own contact information by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing-impaired, or by visiting www.fema.gov.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.