NEW ORLEANS, La. -- As per the State of Louisiana request, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Federal Emergency Management Agency granted and announced today an additional six months extension to the Disaster Housing Assistance Program-Ike (DHAP-Ike and Gustav), giving families in Louisiana who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav through September 30, 2011 to transition to permanent housing solutions.
This extension will give the remaining 1,743 families who continue to participate in the program another six months to transition from the program. The DHAP-Ike and Gustav program has provided temporary rental assistance to families since November 2008, and was scheduled to end on March 31, 2011.
HUD and FEMA established the program through an Inter-Agency Agreement to assist homeowners and renters who were displaced by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike with up to 17 months of temporary housing assistance and case management. FEMA and HUD have extended the program to allow for a total of 35 months of potential program eligibility.
This program provided full rental payments to participating families for the first six months. On May 1, 2009, families began paying $50 towards the rent. Each month thereafter, the tenant's portion of the rent increased by $50 until the tenant began paying the full rent or ended their participation in the program. The incremental rent payments will continue during this extension period. After May 2009, families whose housing expenses – rent and mortgage for personal residences that remained uninhabitable – exceeded 30 percent of their post-disaster income, and who also met other program requirements, continued receiving DHAP-Ike and Gustav assistance. DHAP-Ike and Gustav subsidized eligible families' rent anywhere in the United States.
In February 2010, President Obama's budget requested an additional $66 million specifically directed to allow HUD to support disaster vouchers for families affected by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Families remaining in DHAP-Ike at the end of the program, who meet the eligibility requirements, will be eligible to transition to HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program to receive this rental assistance, which allows families to pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent. The Administration will continue to work with Congress through the 2011 appropriations process to provide the funding necessary to transition the remaining families to more permanent accommodations.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.