BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – At the request of the state, FEMA is currently offering approximately 1,946 surviving households from Hurricanes Laura and Delta additional time to stay in agency-provided housing as they complete the final stages of their recovery. The original end of the program was scheduled for February 28.
The extension of the temporary housing program may allow occupants to complete their housing plan until October 31. As part of the extension and in agreement with the state, beginning March 1, occupants will begin to be charged monthly rent geared to income. which can be well below fair market rates for comparable properties. FEMA officials are urging occupiers to complete or act on any rent reduction requests by Feb. 28, the deadline for the fair market rent estimate for their unit to be reduced.
Eligibility for FEMA’s housing program and continued occupancy is determined monthly for owners and bi-weekly for renters. To remain eligible, occupants must show continued progress on their permanent housing plan.
At the peak of the program, there were 2,400 eligible households licensed in mobile homes provided by FEMA, spread across 12 parishes. Nearly 75% remain in their FEMA homes.
Local, state and federal partners are stepping up efforts ahead of the new deadline to help eligible Laura and Delta survivors get into their repaired or new permanent homes.
FEMA and the State’s Joint Recertification Housing Teams continue to meet regularly with occupants to support the hard work it takes to return to permanent housing. Teams regularly guide occupants to available resources and advise on program requirements and timelines.
Recovery officials note that several Louisiana communities have passed temporary zoning exemptions to allow FEMA mobile homes on private property or in special floodplain risk areas. Some exemptions were set to expire on the original end date of February 28. To be sure they do not violate local zoning ordinances, occupants are encouraged to check with their local authorities.