HUD, FEMA announce 18-month housing assistance program for families displaced by Hurricane IkeMortgagePress.comHUD, FEMA, Hurricane Ike, Texas
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced a
rental assistance program that will provide temporary rental
payments and case management services to help thousands of families
who were displaced by Hurricane Ike. The new program, slated to
begin Nov. 1, 2008, will help these families find intermediate
housing as they rebuild their lives.
"It is critical that we provide a degree of stability in the
lives of these families until they can get back on their feet,"
said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston.
"Knowing you have a roof over your family's head for the next 18
months should alleviate at least one major concern."
"Today we are reaffirming our commitment to help Texas and its
citizens recover from the damages sustained from Hurricane Ike.
FEMA and HUD have moved quickly to support Texas's housing needs,
and we are moving faster than ever to provide needed resources and
assistance to achieve the state's recovery and housing plans," said
FEMA Deputy Administrator Admiral Harvey Johnson.
"Texans whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane
Ike are not alone as they face the task of rebuilding their lives,"
said Texas Governor Rick Perry. "Fortunately we have a variety of
state and federal resources to help Texans through the restoration
process. I am thankful for our partners at HUD who have responded
quickly and effectively to our requests for assistance."
FEMA and HUD agreed on a program that mirrors the successful
program that housed families following the 2005 hurricanes, which
continues to support 30,000 families.
The Disaster Housing Assistance Program-IKE (DHAP-IKE) will be
executed through an interagency agreement between FEMA and HUD. It
is slated to run for 18 months, beginning November 1, 2008. FEMA
will determine the families that qualify for assistance.
HUD, working with an extensive network of public housing
agencies (PHAs) that already administer the DHAP program for
families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and HUD's regular
rental assistance program, will oversee and manage the program.
Initially, HUD will provide full rental assistance to approved
families. Beginning May 1, 2009, families will be responsible for
paying $50 per month. Every month thereafter, the family's portion
of the rent will increase in increments of $50 until the program
ends in April 2010. This approach has been successful in leading
families closer to complete housing independence under the original
DHAP-IKE will be implemented as follows:
• Families in need of assistance must register with FEMA
by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at www.FEMA.gov.
• HUD will use its network of local Public Housing
Agencies (PHAs) to administer the program where families
• FEMA will begin referring families to HUD by Oct. 15,
2008, so that HUD can contract with its local PHAs for the delivery
of DHAP-IKE services starting November 1, 2008.
• Prior to Nov. 1, 2008, PHAs will contact eligible
families referred by FEMA to begin outreach and intensive case
management services to help displaced families rebuild their
• Beginning Nov. 1, 2008, HUD will begin making rental
payments to families declared eligible by FEMA who have been placed
in rental housing.
• PHAs will contact landlords and ensure the necessary
documents are in place so that those families will continue to
receive uninterrupted assistance payments through DHAP-IKE.
• PHAs will work with families and landlords to enter into
rental assistance contracts as soon as families are referred by
FEMA and begin case management.
• PHAs will pay the higher of the Fair Market Rent rate or
the PHAs payment standard. All eligible families will begin
contributing $50 toward their rent starting May 1, 2009. Every
month thereafter, the family portion of the rent will increase in
increments of $50 through March of 2010.
• The program provides a hardship waiver of the $50
Incremental Rent Transition (IRT) for families that prove that they
cannot afford the rent increment. The details of the hardship
provision will be spelled out in standard operating procedures that
will be published shortly.
• Starting in August 2009, families whose rent burden does
not exceed 30 percent of post disaster gross income, taking into
account existing mortgages for personal residences that remain
uninhabitable, will no longer be eligible for DHAP-IKE.
• Families whose rent burden and mortgage exceed 30
percent of post disaster income, will continue to be receive
assistance, subject to the IRT, through March 2010 when the program
There will be family obligations as part of this program which
• Family must abide by the terms of the lease and maintain
the unit in good condition; Family must participate in case
• When IRT begins, family must agree to pay their portion of
rent on time and in full; and
• Family must accurately and honestly certify the receipt of
benefits from either Small Business Administration grants or loans,
insurance proceeds, or any other duplication of benefits.