March 29, 2013 | 3006 views
FEMA, HUD announce rental assistance program for N.Y. Sandy survivors
To assist families who are still struggling to locate housing after being displaced by Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced yesterday that they will reinstitute the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP), a unique rental assistance program that provides temporary rental payments directly to landlords to help families displaced by disasters. DHAP-Sandy will help families find intermediate housing as they rebuild their lives.
"It is critical that we, along with our partners on the federal, tribal, state and local levels, provide a bridge for Hurricane Sandy families as they continue to rebuild their homes and return to a sense of normal," said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez. "The DHAP program, which has a history of providing the temporary assistance families need after a disaster, will be that bridge to help families recover."
"In the aftermath of Sandy, New York presents a unique housing challenge," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael F. Bryne. "It's a densely populated, urban environment and available rental resources are scarce. The purpose of this program is to assist those who have not been able to reach their permanent housing solution within FEMA's standard forms of assistance."
DHAP-Sandy will be executed through an interagency agreement between FEMA and HUD. Disaster survivors do not need to apply separately for the program. FEMA will determine which applicants qualify and will refer eligible applicants to HUD. HUD will work directly with state, and local housing agencies to administer the program.
Participation in DHAP will require survivors to take part in the State of New York or City of New York's Disaster Case Management Program. This program is funded by FEMA and links disaster survivors with case managers who will help them develop and implement a disaster recovery plan.
The DHAP program was created in 2007, and provided a temporary housing solution to thousands of families who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. It successfully supported 37,000 families who were not previously HUD assisted following the 2005 hurricanes - Katrina and Ike. The DHAP program was also utilized to house families displaced by Hurricane Gustav in 2008.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.