FEMA has extended the deadline of it’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program for victims of Hurricane Irma, but urges Florida residents to continually work towards returning home.
The Transitional Sheltering Assistance program helps displaced families by directly paying for the hotel stays for those who require temporary housing. More than 27,000 Florida households have participated in the program since the massive storm made landfall, and about 1,900 are still receiving assistance. Eligible candidates will have their hotel stays extended from Sunday through Saturday, March 10.
Not everyone currently on the program is eligible for the extension. FEMA will call those currently receiving assistance and tell them whether they are eligible for the extension and what they need to do to remain at their current hotel or find a new one. This is the fifth time that FEMA has extended the end date for the TSA program.
While FEMA is providing housing in a number of ways, in a recent release, the agency reminded recipients that assistance is temporary, and the ultimate goal is return residents safely to their homes.
“Federal disaster help with hotel stays, rental assistance, travel trailers and FEMA-paid apartments are just short-term solutions for survivors who are working to return home,” said the release. “This includes repairing or rebuilding their hurricane-damaged home or relocating to another long-term residence.”
One of the programs the agency highlights in its effort to help families return to their homes is the Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program helps families either finance the rehabilitation of their current home or purchase a new one and roll the costs of any necessary rehabilitation into one mortgage. The funds are flexible and can be used for any rehabilitation work, from minor repairs to total reconstruction.
To be eligible, owners must have had a home that was damaged or destroyed during by Hurricane Irma between Sept. 4 and Oct. 18 and live in one of the Florida counties named in the federal disaster declaration. Those looking to learn more about Irma-related mortgage assistance should visit https://www.hud.gov/.
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