In the 11 months following Hurricane Florence, 656 displaced families have been housed through FEMA’s Direct Housing program. As of Aug. 12, 253 households have successfully moved on to more permanent housing by completing repairs or finding alternative arrangements.
Occupants Must Demonstrate Recovery Progress
FEMA requires occupants to show they are making progress on a permanent housing plan. Occupants can show progress on their plan if they:
• Make a decision on repairing or rebuilding the pre-disaster residence, find or purchase a new residence or move into an available rental unit.
• Show a FEMA case advisor evidence of progress—such as invoices for repairs or a lease for a new rental—or any cause for delays. Case advisors routinely set appointments with occupants to review progress on personal housing plans.
• Document housing searches. Expand search area if needed to find a new place. o Use local websites that advertise apartment or housing vacancies. State agencies like the Division of Social Services may offer assistance with deposits or rent payments. Ask a case advisor for information on assistance.
Eligibility Determined Monthly
• FEMA determines direct housing eligibility on a month-to-month basis.
• Occupants must fulfill requests from FEMA case advisors to schedule monthly meetings. Meetings are necessary for FEMA to determine if a permanent housing plan is realistic and a direct housing need remains.
May Return Home Before Repairs Are Complete
Occupants of FEMA direct housing may be ready to move back sooner than they realize. The occupant may return home if it is safe, sanitary and functional.
• A home may be safe, sanitary and functional even if repair work—such as installing floor covering or non-essential items like dishwashers and cleaning ceiling stains—remains.
• Safe, sanitary and functional means: o The exterior is structurally sound, including the doors, roof and windows.
o The interior’s habitable areas are structurally sound, including the ceiling and floors.
o The electricity, gas, heat, plumbing and sewer and septic systems function properly.
o The home is capable of operating for its intended purpose.
Applicants in mobile units sign a revocable license and agree to follow these rules:
• Move out when other housing becomes available.
• Comply with mobile home park rules.
• Do not alter or damage the FEMA housing unit.
• Show FEMA proof of a housing plan.
• Fulfill requests to communicate and meet with FEMA case advisors.
• Do not engage in criminal activity.
FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during and after disasters