FEMA Provides Multiple Ways to Prove Home Ownership

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
October 12, 2022

San Juan, Puerto Rico — As part of the disaster assistance process, FEMA must determine ownership of damaged primary residences. In other words, you must prove to FEMA that the home you are reporting as having sustained damage due to Hurricane Fiona is in fact your property.

Home ownership is essential before providing Home Repair or Replacement Assistance.

FEMA is committed to ensuring equity in its program and services and has implemented steps to reduce access barriers experienced by underserved populations. The agency has expanded the types of documentation that could be submitted to verify ownership.

Traditionally, FEMA verifies ownership through inspection, automated public and government records or submitted documents such as deed or title, mortgage payment booklet, property tax receipt or property tax bill or real property structure insurance, among others.

Additional forms of documentation that FEMA will consider now, include:

  • A public official’s letter

  • Receipts for major repairs or maintenance dated within five years prior to the disaster.

  • Survivors with heirship properties who do not have the traditional documentation of ownership verification may self-certify ownership as a last resort

  • Documentation can now be dated within one year prior to the disaster or within the 18-month period of assistance

People affected by the hurricane in the 78 municipalities of Puerto Rico may apply for assistance by downloading the FEMA app, online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-3362. People who use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, must provide FEMA the number for that service. Phone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

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