More than 5,100 families to continue receiving rent assistance through September
WASHINGTON, DC – February 21, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S.Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate today announced an additional five-month extension of disaster housing assistance to more than 5,168 families in Texas and Louisiana who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. The extension of rental assistance through the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) gives these families until September 30th to transition to permanent housing solutions.
his extension will give 3,425 families in Texas and 1,743 families in Louisiana who continue to participate in DHAP-Ike another five months to transition from the program. Since November, 2008, the DHAP program provided temporary rental assistance to families and was scheduled to end on March 31, 2011.
HUD and FEMA established the program through an Inter-Agency Agreement to assist homeowners and renters who were displaced by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike with up to 17 months of temporary housing assistance and case management. FEMA and HUD extended the program to allow for a total of 35 months of potential program eligibility based on the States of Louisiana and Texas requests.
This program provides full rental payments to participating families for the first six months. On May 1, 2009, families began paying $50 towards the rent and each month thereafter, the tenant’s portion of the rent increased by $50 until the tenant began paying the full rent or ended their participation in the program. The incremental rent payments will continue during this extension period. After May 2009, families whose housing expenses – rent and mortgage for personal residences that remained uninhabitable – exceeded 30 percent of their post-disaster income, and who also met other program requirements, continued receiving DHAP-Ike assistance. DHAP-Ike subsidized eligible families’ rent anywhere in the United States.
In February 2010, President Obama’s budget requested an additional $66 million specifically directed to allow HUD to support disaster vouchers for families affected by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Families remaining in DHAP-Ike at the end of the program, who meet the eligibility requirements, will be eligible to transition to HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program to receive this rental assistance, which allows families to pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent. The Administration will continue to work with Congress through the 2011 appropriations process to provide the funding necessary to transition the remaining families to more permanent accommodations.
Media contacts: HUD: Donna White 202-708-0685/FEMA News Desk: (202) 646-3272
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.