HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Renters in 27 Pennsylvania counties with losses due to Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee are eligible for federal disaster assistance.
"Irene and Lee did not discriminate between homeowners and renters," said Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. McCool. "We're here to help everyone who is eligible for assistance -- and that definitely includes renters."
Renters who were displaced from their homes by the storm may be eligible for a FEMA grant to help them pay rent for temporary housing. These rental grants are for a 30-day period, subject to assistance review, until renters' previous homes are again habitable or they find another home.
FEMA maintains a list of rentals in the affected counties, which may be obtained by calling FEMA's helpline at 1- 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. Renters can also contact the Pennsylvania Housing Resource Center at 1-877-428-8844 or on the web at www.PaHousingSearch.com.
FEMA also provides grants to renters for a variety of serious disaster-related losses, including:
- Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the disaster, such as furnishings or appliances;
- Replacement or repair of tools and equipment required by students or the self-employed for their work;
- Replacement or repair of vehicles damaged by the disaster;
- Moving and storage expenses; and
- Disaster-related medical and dental expenses.
If renters have personal property losses not covered by insurance or FEMA grants, they may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Following a disaster, SBA loans are not only for small businesses, but also for renters, homeowners, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations. Renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
To register with FEMA, call 800-621-FEMA (3362), online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via a web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly; or 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice, and multilingual assistance is available.
Residents of 27 Pennsylvania counties are eligible for FEMA assistance: Adams, Bucks, Bradford, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585; or call 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS).
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.