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FEMA Announces Rent Suspension for Disaster Survivors

Release Date Release Number
HQ-20-091

Update May 29, 2020: To continue to ease the financial burden on survivors created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, FEMA will continue the temporary suspension on rent for disaster survivors in California, Florida and Texas who are living in FEMA temporary housing. The information below is updated to reflect the new dates. FEMA will mail a letter to all affected occupants to inform them of the continued rent suspension.

FEMA is issuing a temporary suspension on rent for disaster survivors living in FEMA housing in the following states:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Texas

This will help ease the financial burden on survivors because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The suspension applies to rent only; rent collection is expected to resume September 1, with the first payments due October 1.

What can individuals living in FEMA housing expect?

FEMA will mail a letter to all affected tenants about their rent suspension.

Survivors with questions may call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362.

Background:

Following a Major Disaster declaration, if a disaster survivor’s home has been damaged or destroyed and the survivor is unable to find another safe place to live, they may be eligible for a temporary housing unit. FEMA provides temporary housing, utilities and maintenance at no charge for up to 18 months after the date of the disaster declaration. In exchange, survivors are required to make efforts to complete essential home repairs or find other suitable housing. Survivors are also required to comply with FEMA terms and conditions for living in the temporary housing unit, which includes obeying federal, state, and local laws, and any rules established by the park owner if the unit is in a commercial park.

If, after 18 months, FEMA extends the direct housing assistance and the survivor is unable to return home or find another place to live, they may be able to stay in FEMA housing but will pay rent based on the Fair Market Rent (FMR), as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. FEMA reduces the amount of rent for survivors who demonstrate that they are unable to pay this amount due their financial circumstances.

Survivors who have insurance benefits that provide coverage for additional living expenses are required to pay rent to FEMA up to the FMR or the amount of these benefits (whichever is less) to prevent a duplication of benefits with insurance that is prohibited by law.  Survivors making these payments are required to continue making them until their additional living expense benefits are exhausted.

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Last updated July 26, 2020