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Commonly Asked Questions about FEMA’s Housing Assistance Program

Release date: 
October 22, 2017
Release Number: 
DR-4337-FL FS 017

Q: Where can I stay? My home is too damaged to live in during rebuilding.

A: If your pre-disaster primary residence is either uninhabitable or inaccessible, you may qualify for Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA), an emergency sheltering program available to eligible survivors in Florida. TSA provides disaster survivors with a short-term stay in a hotel or motel and pays the lodging providers directly. You can find a list of TSA-approved hotels on www.DisasterAssistance.gov, and click on the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program – Participating Hotel List link. If you don’t have internet access, the FEMA Helpline (1-800-621-3362) can assist you with locating a participating property. You should contact the hotel directly to secure a hotel room prior to traveling to the hotel.

Q: Will FEMA provide rental assistance while my home is being rebuilt?

A: You may be eligible for rental assistance through FEMA’s Individual and Households Program. It secures temporary housing while repairs are made to your pre-disaster primary residence, or if you are displaced from your primary residence and are transitioning to permanent disaster housing.

Q: Rental units are scarce in my area. Are any other housing options available while my home is being rebuilt?

A: In some counties, FEMA provides temporary housing units directly to survivors when rental resources are unavailable. Direct housing can include units in multi-family residential buildings or manufactured housing units.

Q: Can I live in my damaged home while it is being rebuilt, instead of in a hotel or rental unit?

A: The Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program (STEP) may help you stay in your hurricane-damaged home instead of a hotel, rental or mass shelter while you rebuild. STEP is meant to provide basic life-sustaining needs, such as utilities essential for potable and hot water and food preparation; a bathroom, working kitchen and sleeping accommodations; weatherproofing and alterations to meet access and functional needs.

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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.

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.

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 low-interest loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. Next to insurance, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans are the survivor’s primary source of funding for disaster recovery. For more information about SBA’s low-interest disaster loans, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

Last Updated: 
October 22, 2017 - 11:12
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