Renters May Be Eligible for FEMA Assistance

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Release date: 
March 24, 2012
Release Number: 

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Persons and families in Kentucky who lost their rental homes or personal property in the recent severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred Feb. 29 through March 3 may be eligible for disaster-related assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Renters who resided in an apartment, mobile home or leased house that was made unlivable because of disaster damage also are encouraged to contact FEMA.

"As numerous persons who rented their homes at the time of the disaster are discovering, disaster aid is not limited to homeowners," said Libby Turner, federal officer in charge of the Kentucky disaster. “Already over 250 renters have registered with FEMA and many are receiving help as they began to rebuild their lives.”

Through Housing Assistance, FEMA offers two kinds of help to eligible renters:

  • Money to rent a different place to live for a limited period of time while repairs are done to a rented residence that was made unlivable by the disaster
  • A free referral service to find a safe replacement rental property

Both renters and homeowners may also be eligible for Other Needs Assistance, designed to help survivors with uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. These grants can be used for:

  • Disaster-related medical and dental expenses
  • Disaster-related funeral and burial expenses
  • Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the disaster, household items such as room furnishings or appliances, and tools and equipment required by the self-employed for their jobs
  • Primary vehicles and approved second vehicles damaged by the disaster

It’s important for survivors to understand that if they receive a U.S. Small Business Administration loan application package, they must complete and mail it to SBA in order to be eligible for Other Needs Assistance.  Even if they don’t want an SBA loan, information provided on the application may be used to help determine eligibility for Other Needs Assistance. Survivors do not have to submit an SBA loan application to be considered for FEMA rental assistance.

To qualify for any FEMA assistance, renters must first register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. Specialists are available by phone from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Renters also may register online at  or via a web-enabled phone or smartphone at

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.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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