Disaster Rental Assistance – How to Receive it and Extend it

Release Date Release Number
DR-4609-TN R4 NR015
Release Date:
September 27, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennesseans who experienced damage from the severe storms and flooding on Aug. 21 in Dickson, Hickman, Houston, and Humphreys counties may be eligible for funding for temporary rentals through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.

FEMA provides rental assistance if your primary place of residence is unhabitable and you do not have money to pay for housing. You must also not be receiving funding for it from another source.

FEMA’s rental assistance includes money for a security deposit and essential utilities, such as electricity and water, but not cable or Internet. The approved rental amount is based on fair market rates for your area as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For those who are currently receiving FEMA rental assistance and have a continuing need for it, you must contact FEMA to fill out an additional form. If you are a homeowner, the form should have been mailed to the address of your primary residence.

All those requesting extended rental assistance, will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Receipts canceled checks or money orders showing previous funds were used to pay for rent.
  • An ongoing need, which may be that suitable housing is not available, or your permanent housing plan has not been completed through no fault of your own. 
  • You are working on a longer term or permanent housing plan.

Extensions on rental assistance may be granted for three-month periods at a time. Toward the end of three months, you must contact FEMA’s helpline to recertify. Rental assistance is available up to a maximum of 18 months from the date of the FEMA disaster declaration. Applicants must continue to work toward obtaining permanent housing to continue requesting rental assistance.

To apply to FEMA or to extend rental assistance: call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Lines are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Other ways to apply for FEMA assistance include: online through  disasterassistance.gov or download the FEMA app to smartphone or tablet.

For more information on Tennessee’s disaster recovery, visit Middle Tennessee Flood Recovery and Tennessee Severe Storms (DR-4609-TN) | FEMA.gov. You may also follow FEMA on www.facebook.com/fema and Twitter @FEMARegion4.


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