FEMA Rapidly Mobilizes Direct Housing Program to Assist Hurricane Idalia Survivors

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January 26, 2024

In a remarkable display of efficiency and dedication, FEMA swiftly activated its Direct Housing program to assist Hurricane Idalia survivors. As of Jan. 23, FEMA had placed all eligible households affected by Hurricane Idalia in temporary housing units, marking the successful completion of the “licensing-in” process.

FEMA has been diligently working to place eligible survivors and strives to have them settled into suitable housing units as quickly as possible. "Our Direct Housing team has been working tirelessly to accomplish one of the swiftest direct housing missions," stated FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Brett Howard. 

Within an exceptional 40 days of approving the program, FEMA placed the first survivor in a temporary housing unit. Many eligible households have had a temporary housing unit installed on their private property and several pads in commercial parks have been leased to place FEMA units. 

The Direct Housing program is an important component of FEMA’s disaster response strategy, providing a safe and secure temporary housing solutions to eligible disaster survivors as they navigate their recovery process. Following Hurricane Idalia, FEMA approved Direct Temporary Housing Assistance in nine counties: Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor on Sept. 18, 2023. 

Occupants may be eligible to stay in the FEMA-provided travel trailers or mobile homes for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration while they pursue permanent housing options. Three households have already moved out of FEMA temporary housing units after completing their Permanent Housing Plans.

Getting survivors placed into units involves complexities such as ordering, installation, permitting, utility hookup and inspection. To ensure that this process moves smoothly, FEMA works with applicants, local governments, utility companies and others to overcome barriers that may prevent the units from being ready for occupancy. The agency continues to streamline the process to ensure that affected households receive the support they need in a timely manner.

For the latest information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Idalia, visit floridadisaster.org/updates/ and fema.gov/disaster/4734. Follow FEMA on X, formerly known as Twitter, at twitter.com/femaregion4 and at facebook.com/fema.

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