FEMA is actively seeking owners of rental units suitable for families and individuals displaced by the August wildfires on Maui. The units are offered to survivors for long-term leasing for up to 24 months. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.
How does FEMA’s Direct Lease program work?
- FEMA leases existing, ready-to-occupy residential properties for use as temporary housing for families displaced by the fires. Eligible properties may include single-family homes, multi-family homes, apartments, cooperatives, condominiums and townhouses. Property owners, not the tenants, enter into contract with FEMA’s property management company.
- The Direct Lease program is different from the FEMA Rental Assistance program, which pays rent to survivors for units at a maximum of 175% of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development fair market rent.
- Direct Lease is also different from Non-Congregate Sheltering, a program managed by the American Red Cross which houses survivors temporarily in hotels until they can move into suitable longer-term housing. That sheltering program is set to expire April 10.
What are the requirements of the Direct Lease Program?
- Property management companies/owners must lease the vacant units exclusively to FEMA for use as temporary housing for eligible survivors for 12 months, with the possibility of two additional six-month contract extensions, totaling 24 months.
- Properties must be located within 40 miles of Lahaina.
- Each property must comply with HUD-established Housing Quality Standards, and all utilities, appliances and other furnishings must be functional. Each individual unit must be equipped with bathroom facilities and kitchen amenities, including dishware and utensils.
What should I expect from FEMA?
- FEMA will provide a security deposit, write the contract, conduct home inspections before move-in and after move-out, and assume responsibility for relocating tenants at the conclusion of the lease.
- FEMA will honor your existing property policies (i.e., pets), and not jeopardize your ability to return to the short-term rental market at the conclusion of the contract.
- As a participant in the program, FEMA will pay all utility costs (including fees to the Homeowners Association) and cover property damage.
How do property management companies learn more about FEMA’s Direct Lease program?
- Property management companies may contact FEMA via email at: email@example.com or phone: 510-499-6069.
Who do property owners contact to lease their units to FEMA?
- Property owners may choose from one of three management companies listed below to lease their unit to FEMA. Eligible survivors are then matched to the closest suitable unit.
Aesthetic Home Investments
Lima Charlie Inc.
Fedcology dba Parliament
Where can I find information on Maui County’s tax exemption for long-term rentals?
- County of Maui Real Property Assessment Division: www.mauipropertytax.com
- Maui Wildfires Long-Term Rental Exemption Applications: www.mauicounty.gov/1953/RPA-Forms-and-Instructions
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 808-270-7295.
For the latest information on the Maui wildfire recovery efforts, visit mauicounty.gov, mauirecovers.org, fema.gov/disaster/4724 and Hawaii Wildfires - YouTube. Follow FEMA on social media: @FEMARegion9 and facebook.com/fema. You may also get disaster assistance information and download applications at sba.gov/hawaii-wildfires.