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What Specific Items are Covered by "Housing Assistance"?

This page contains information on the types of Disaster Housing Assistance that are available through FEMA and a list of specific items that can be covered by Repair Assistance which is a category of Housing Assistance.  There is a maximum grant amount for financial assistance that cannot be exceeded by individuals.  This maximum grant amount is determined at the start of each fiscal year and based on the consumer price index.

Housing Assistance

Housing Assistance is assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that may be used to meet your uninsured housing needs after a disaster.  Housing Assistance for eligible applicants can include reimbursement for short term lodging hotel expenses while displaced from your home due to the disaster, and initial rental money to find a place to live if you cannot return to your home because of the disaster, or the home is uninhabitable because of the disaster. Continued Rental Assistance for qualified applicants may be available for up to 18 months plus a security deposit while your home is being repaired and is based on submitted paperwork that demonstrates a disaster related financial need. 

FEMA’s Housing Assistance for uninsured or underinsured homeowners also can include money to repair disaster caused damage to your primary residence; or money to help you purchase a new home if your primary residence is destroyed by the disaster.  Financial Housing Assistance cannot exceed the maximum grant amount established at the start of each fiscal year.

If your area does not have any available places to rent while your home is being repaired FEMA may provide Direct Housing Assistance.  Direct Housing Assistance does not count towards the maximum grant amount as it is not financial assistance.  Direct Housing may include Multi-Family Lease and Repair (MLR), Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs), and Permanent or Semi-Permanent Housing Construction (PHC).  Direct Assistance is provided only as a when no other housing options are available and one or more may be provided depending on the disaster.  FEMA will contact qualified applicants if they are may be eligible for Direct Housing.

Home Repair Assistance

Repair assistance for uninsured or underinsured homeowners may be used to repair disaster damages for:

  • Structural parts of your home (foundation, outside walls, roof).
  • Septic or sewage system.
  • Well or other water system.
  • Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system.
  • Utilities (electrical, plumbing, and gas systems).
  • Entrance and exit ways from your home, including privately owned access roads.
  • Blocking, leveling, and anchoring of a mobile home and reconnecting or resetting its sewer, water, electrical, fuel lines, and tanks.

Financial grants from FEMA are taxpayer funded and have a maximum fiscal year dollar amount which is tied to the year the disaster was declared.  Once your reach the maximum amount, you will not be able to receive any additional grants from FEMA for the disaster.  If you are unsure of what your financial grant was based on, contact the FEMA Helpline for specific items recorded in the inspection report.

Contact FEMA:

  • 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362)
  • TTY 1-800-462-7585
  • 711 or VRS 1-800-621-3362

Find out more about Individual Disaster Assistance.

Last Updated: 
03/15/2018 - 14:40