FEMA Extends Deadline to Respond to Direct Lease Request for Information

Release Date:
September 12, 2023

FEMA is seeking information from property management companies with ready-for-occupancy residential or rental properties in Vermont communities affected by the July 7-17 severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides. The deadline to reply has been extended to October 27, 2023.

Property management companies for consideration should be doing business in and around communities affected by the July storms, including the counties of Caledonia, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor, as well as surrounding communities. FEMA encourages all interested property management companies to consider participating.

What is the Direct Lease program?

Direct Lease is a form of Temporary Housing Assistance that allows FEMA to enter into contracts directly with property management companies to lease properties not generally available to the public. Properties must be available for no less than 18 months, with an option for lease extension. This includes corporate apartments, vacation rentals, secondary homes, bank-owned properties, condominiums, townhouses, and other dwellings. The properties will then be offered as temporary housing to eligible disaster survivors. FEMA may use these units for eligible applicants who are unable to use rental assistance due to lack of available resources.

What conditions does the property need to meet?

The property must be an existing residential property not typically available to the general public (i.e., corporate apartments, vacation rentals, and second homes) that can be used as temporary housing.

  • Units that may be obtained by applicants using Rental Assistance will not be acquired for Direct Lease;
  • Hotels, motels and other transient accommodations will not be acquired for Direct Lease;
  • The property must comply with Housing Quality Standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and all relevant state building and occupancy standards and regulations. All utilities, appliances, and other furnishings must be functional;
  • Each individual unit must provide complete living facilities, including provisions for cooking, eating and sanitation within the unit;
  • The property must be located within reasonable access to community and wrap-around services, such as accessible public transportation, schools, fire and emergency services, and grocery stores; and
  • All property management companies must register to do business with FEMA through the System for Award Management (SAM) at SAM.gov.

Other terms and conditions

  • Lease agreements must include provisions:
    • Giving FEMA the option to extend the lease if FEMA extends the period of assistance beyond 18 months;
    • Giving FEMA the option of releasing the unit to the owner and ceasing all monthly payments for the unit at any time by providing 30 days’ notice;
    • Allowing FEMA to make, at FEMA’s expense, reasonable modifications or improvements to the property to provide a reasonable accommodation for an eligible applicant with a disability or other access and functional needs;
    • Allowing FEMA to restore the property to its original condition before any reasonable modifications or improvements as requested by the property owner;
    • Incorporating a lease addendum containing FEMA’s conditions of eligibility and termination of tenancy and eviction into any lease between the property owner and the occupant;
    • Agreeing to waive credit screening for eligible applicants and;
    • Allowing FEMA to reassign a vacated unit when eligible applicants need temporary housing assistance and a unit becomes available before the end of the period of assistance.
  • Property owners must provide all building maintenance services.
  • Property owners must be current and in good standing with property mortgage payments, and have a current rental license.

What information is requested?

Interested property owners should provide the following information:

  • Name of complex, location, and complex owner’s name and phone number or contact information (if complex owner is not the property owner);
  • Number of vacant units containing a separate bathroom, kitchen, and living space available for FEMA’s exclusive use, and the number of bedrooms each unit contains;
  • Number of units compliant with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards and/or features that provide accessibility for individuals with disabilities;
  • Confirmation the property owner is current and up to date with the property’s mortgage payments;
  • Confirmation that the property is readily available for applicants to move in;
  • History of the building’s use (dates used as a rental, etc.) if applicable;
  • Utilities included in rent;
  • Numbers of units fully furnished;
  • Rental range for property, including any associated fees;
  • Pet restrictions, such as type, number, or size, and applicable pet deposits; and
  • Number of parking spaces (including accessible and van-accessible) available for each housing unit.

Where do I respond to the request for information?

Interested property ownersor management companiesmust provide responsesand comments on or before October 27 to FEMA-DR4720VT-Housing@fema.dhs.gov. The email subject line should read: RFI #70FBR123I00000002.

More information about this opportunity can be foundat SAM.gov.

The Request for Information (RFI) does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP), Invitation for Bid (IFB), or Request for Quotation (RFQ), and it is not to be construed as a commitment by the government to enter into a contract, nor will the government pay for the information submitted in response to this request. Response to this notification will be used to determine which properties meet the Direct Lease criteria and provide the most timely and cost-effective means of providing direct assistance to eligible disaster survivors. FEMA wants to obtain market information or capabilities for planning purposes.

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