ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is appealing to landlords to help hurricane survivors who lost their housing in the storms and need a temporary home. Move-in-ready apartments or condos are needed for survivors who have been approved for FEMA’s Direct Lease Program, which authorizes FEMA to pay rent directly to landlords, assuring they receive timely rent at a fair price. One-bedroom units are especially needed, with the greatest need on St. John.
The purpose of the Direct Lease program is to provide eligible disaster survivors with a safe, sanitary and secure temporary place to live while they repair their homes or look for permanent housing. Survivors who are approved for direct lease are required to maintain regular contact with FEMA and go through a monthly recertification process to determine their continued eligibility.
The agency leases directly from property owners only in situations where there is a severe shortage of rental housing, such as here in the Virgin Islands. A number of survivors may be eligible for direct lease because they have been unable to find a rental property.
Rental rates, including deposit, payment for utilities, and/or other associated fees must be within 200 percent of the Fair Market Rates (FMR) established by HUD. Amenities, such as cable TV, internet and telephone are not covered by the Direct Lease Program.
To find the HUD rates enter “HUD fair market rent 2018” in a search engine or go to
To submit your property to be considered for Direct Lease, send an email to FEMA-USVI-DirectLease@fema.dhs.gov.
Additional details are available on FEMA’s Virgin Islands Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands/
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FEMA’s mission is to support people before, during, and after disasters.
For official information on the recovery effort following the hurricanes, please visit www.informusvi.com or www.usviupdate.com. Follow us on social media at twitter.com/femaregion2 and www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands.
To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org. For those who wish to help, cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands also has the “Fund for the Virgin Islands” at www.USVIrecovery.org.