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You Asked: I’m a renter, can I get assistance from FEMA?

Release Date:
September 5, 2021

Renters in the 25 Louisiana Parishes* designated for Individual Assistance who had damage, losses or are unable to live in their homes after Hurricane Ida, may be eligible for help from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Question: I am a renter; can I apply for assistance with FEMA?

Answer: Yes, renters may apply for disaster assistance with FEMA. If you have renter’s insurance, you should call your insurance provider to file a claim. If you are insured, you must provide information from your insurance which may include a declaration page and a settlement or denial.

Question:  As a renter, what types of help could I be eligible for?

Answer: Awards may be available to rent or pay for a different place to live for a limited time while repairs are made to your rental home or until it is livable. Rental grants may be used for security deposits, rent and the cost of essential utilities, such as gas and water. The grants may not be used to pay for separate cable or internet bills.

Question: Can I use my rental assistance grant to stay in a hotel/motel?

Answer: The funds can be used to stay in another temporary place to live, which includes a hotel/motel. The rental assistance grant is equivalent to the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the area the primary home is located in.

Question: I have been staying in a hotel and paying for it myself, can I get reimbursed for the costs?

Answer:  You may be eligible to be for reimbursement for out-of-pocket lodging expenses if you are not covered by insurance benefits like additional living expenses or loss of use or receiving help with lodging from another source such as a voluntary organization. Eligible expenses may include the cost of the room and taxes charged by a hotel or other lodging provider.

Question: I’ve heard about a program called Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA), is this the same as rental assistance?

Answer: TSA is a FEMA program that is approved for this disaster. It allows for temporary, short-term lodging at a participating hotel/motel, that FEMA pays for directly. Survivors may not request TSA. Those who are eligible will be contacted by FEMA about their eligibility. 

Question: My personal property was damaged, is there financial help available for my losses?

Answer: Help is also available for eligible survivors, including renters, with uninsured and underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs caused by Hurricane Ida.

Renters may also qualify for assistance for essential personal property and other disaster-related expenses. These may include replacement or repair of necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, textbooks or school supplies; replacement or repair of tools and other job-related equipment; vehicle repair; and medical/dental bills.

Question: Does help from FEMA have to be paid back?

Answer: No. Grants are not loans, and don’t have to be repaid. They are not taxable income and won’t affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Question: How do I apply for FEMA assistance?

Answer: Survivors in one of the Parishes designated for Individual Assistance can apply with FEMA for assistance, online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by telephone at 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585, or use a relay service, such as a videophone, InnoCaption, or CapTel, give FEMA the number for that service.

*For DR-4611-LA, 25 parishes are designated for TSA : Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana

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Last updated September 6, 2021