FEMA Advances Accessibility: Policy Change Provides Over $117 Million to Disaster Survivors for Cleaning and Sanitizing Homes

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December 13, 2022

WASHINGTON -- This week, FEMA announced over $117 million was provided to survivors in additional assistance due to a policy update which expanded cleaning and sanitizing assistance following a disaster. Because of the policy update, more than 391,000 additional applicants have been able to get financial help.

Under the Clean and Sanitize Assistance (CSA) program, if a survivor received minor damage to their home, but was able to live in the home, FEMA may be able to provide up to $300 to help prevent additional losses and to protect the health and safety of the survivor’s home. This assistance is for eligible homeowners and renters and can be used to pay for supplies or a service to clean up.

In August 2021, under the leadership of FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, the agency implemented these policy changes to help simplify the disaster assistance process and provide greater equity to all disaster survivors.

“The Clean and Sanitize Assistance program is yet another critical resource FEMA provides to help protect the health and safety of people recovering from disasters,” said Administrator Criswell. “FEMA is using every tool at our disposal to ensure that all people affected by disaster, including those from low-income and underserved communities, are better able to access the resources they need to stay safe and protect their home.”

As a result of this initiative, over $31 million in additional cleaning and sanitizing assistance has gone to Hurricane Ian survivors, and over $59 million in additional assistance has been distributed to survivors of Hurricane Fiona.

To qualify for the CSA Program, one must meet the following criteria:

  • An occupancy verified by FEMA
  • A pre-disaster primary home located in a designated county, parish or municipality for Individual Assistance
  • The inspection noted that clean-up actions are needed or have been taken (for renters)
  • Damage that is not covered by one's insurance
  • The primary residence had disaster damage but is still safe to occupy
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