FEMA to Provide Housing Aid for Irma Victims
Housing assistance is available to eligible disaster survivors who are not able to return home for an extended period.
TAMPA BAY – FEMA is providing transitional sheltering assistance that may provide disaster survivors with a short-term stay in a hotel or motel, according to Pinellas County government.
FEMA may provide TSA to eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return to their homes for an extended period of time and who have a continuing need for shelter. This initiative is intended to provide short-term lodging for eligible disaster survivors whose residence is uninhabitable or inaccessible because of a declared disaster.
The program outline:
To be eligible for TSA, survivors must:
· Register with FEMA for assistance;
· Have a pre-disaster primary residence in the area designated for TSA;
· Be displaced from their pre-disaster residence because of the disaster;
· Remain in transitional, congregate, or other shelters;
· Be unable to obtain lodging through another source (e.g., the American Red Cross or other voluntary agencies)
· A household of four or less members will be authorized for one room.
· A household of five or more will be authorized additional rooms, based on a limit of four per room.
. The initial period of assistance will be a minimum of 14 days from date of TSA implementation.
After completing their disaster assistance registration, survivors will be notified of their eligibility by a voice call, text, and/or email.
· FEMA pays directly to the participating hotels or motels through a contract arrangement for TSA eligible applicants.
· TSA covers room and taxes (pet fees may be covered if combined pet/room fee does not exceed allowable costs).
· Applicant is responsible for all other costs associated, such as laundry, room service, parking, telephone or other services.
· TSA does not count toward an applicant’s maximum amount of assistance available under the individual and households program.
Finding a Hotel
Eligible survivors can find the list of TSA-approved hotels at disasterassistance.gov, and click on the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program – Participating Hotel List link.
If you don’t have access to internet, you may also call the FEMA Helpline (1-800-621-3362) for help locating one.
· Applicants with access and functional needs should check with the hotel to ensure if accessible lodging accommodations are available to meet their needs.
· Hotels must accept service animals.
· Applicants should check with participating hotels to confirm if they accept pets.
· Applicants must provide the TSA participating hotel with a photo identification.
· Hotels may also have specific check-in requirements.
· Applicants changing TSA-approved hotels, must check out of the previous hotel before checking into the next TSA-approved hotel.
· FEMA recommends checking room availability by phone before traveling to the hotel.
· Survivors are strongly encouraged to contact the hotel directly to ask if transitional sheltering assistance rooms are available. If rooms are available, go to the hotel immediately in person to book a room.
· Survivors must confirm they are checking into a TSA room to use this benefit. Please know, hotels may or may not have rooms available that are not reserved for TSA.
For information about the transitional sheltering assistance program and to look up TSA-approved lodging, go to femaevachotels.com.
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