You Asked: Is FEMA assistance available if I’m being evicted from my storm-damaged home?

Release Date:
September 19, 2021

Louisiana renters who face eviction or have been evicted from their storm-damaged home or apartment complex, whether their unit had damage or not, may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA.

Question: My landlord has told me I have to leave my rental property, but I have nowhere to go. What should I do? 

Answer: Calling 211 connects callers to available resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week...even during disasters. The statewide network works with state agencies and local officials to provide the most current and available information during times of need.  

Question: I am being forced to leave my rental property. Is there anything FEMA can do to help me? 

Answer: Louisiana renters who face eviction or have been evicted due to Hurricane Ida may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA. 

FEMA is also partnering with the Louisiana State Bar Association and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division to provide free legal aid to low-income individuals with disaster legal needs, such as help addressing evictions. Call the toll-free legal aid hotline at (800) 310-7029, or you can get legal advice online through Louisiana Free Legal Answers. 

Question: What if I already applied with FEMA and was later evicted?

Answer: Survivors who have already applied for FEMA assistance but were later evicted due to damage to other parts of their home should call FEMA at 800-621-3362 or visit a temporary disaster recovery center. Displaced survivors can reach out even if they were previously determined ineligible for FEMA assistance. Check the FEMA App or visit the FEMA DRC Locator to find the locations and hours of operation of the temporary disaster recovery centers.

Question: Where can I apply for FEMA assistance?

Answer: There are several ways to apply for disaster assistance: 

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Use the FEMA mobile app. 
  • Call FEMA at 800-621-3362 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
  • Temporary FEMA disaster recovery centers have opened in several hurricane-effected parishes. Check the FEMA App or visit the FEMA DRC Locator to find the locations and hours of operation. 

Question: Does FEMA offer help with short-term lodging while I look for a permanent place to live?

Answer: Displaced renters who need a safe place to stay while they look for longer-term housing may be eligible for short-term hotel stays paid by FEMA under its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program. Applicants cannot request TSA, but FEMA will identify survivors who may be eligible and have a need for this specific assistance. FEMA will communicate TSA eligibility through a variety of methods including voice; text; and email.

The list of participating hotels will be posted on DisasterAssistance.gov under the link Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program or you can get it by calling the FEMA helpline 

Question: What other types of help are available for displaced survivors?

Answer: Renters may be eligible for grants from FEMA to help with disaster-related expenses, such as:

  • Renting a home when the renter’s previous one is unsafe to live in due to the disaster or their apartment complex or home is under repair
  • Disaster-related medical and dental expenses
  • Child-care assistance
  • Moving and storage fees
  • Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the disaster, such as appliances and furniture, textbooks and computers used by students, and work equipment or tools used by independent contractors
  •  Repair or replacement of vehicles damaged by the disaster
  • Disaster-related funeral and burial expenses

Question: Do I have to pay FEMA back this money?

Answer: The grants are not loans and don’t have to be repaid. They are not taxable income and won’t affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and several other programs.

Question: I was receiving rental assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was displaced due to Hurricane Ida. Do I qualify for FEMA disaster assistance?

Answer: FEMA cannot duplicate types of assistance received from another agency. However, if you were forced to leave your HUD-assisted housing because of damage caused by Hurricane Ida, you may be eligible for help from FEMA. This includes displaced families or residents who were: 

  • Living in HUD-assisted public housing
  • Living in a privately-owned apartment that provides rental assistance from HUD
  • Living in a private home using a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher from a housing authority

Question: What type of help is available for HUD-assisted renters?

Answer: If you received HUD rental assistance, you may be eligible for temporary rental assistance to pay for a place to live until:

  • You relocate back to public housing;
  • You relocate back to the private housing that provides HUD assistance; or
  • You sign a lease with a private property owner using a Section 8 voucher.

Assistance also includes grants to replace essential contents, such as clothing and essential household items, and reimburse you for serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate types of assistance received from another agency.

Question: Where can I find information on renter’s rights and guidance related to evictions?

Answer: The City of New Orleans posted an online renter’s rights and guidance FAQ that offers general information for Louisiana renters. Additional help may be available by calling the toll-free legal aid hotline at (800) 310-7029, or you can get legal advice online through Louisiana Free Legal Answers.    

 

For the latest information visit fema.gov/disaster/4611. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/.  

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Last updated September 19, 2021