February 15 conference call

From FEMA Answers

On February 15, a national conference call focused on FEMA housing assistance. As the FEMA hotel/motel program ends, and as the agency prepares to transition evacuees 403 state/local government assistance programs into the 408 direct individual assistance program, questions and concerns mount.

Following are raw notes that have not been reviewed by FEMA, nor any staff for the housing organizations.

Raw Notes

Question #1: More than 700,000 households received housing assistance, such as hotel relief, a FEMA apartment, $2358 or other assistance. Why has FEMA not released guidelines for continuing assistance, as Congress directed be done by January 13? When will this guidance be released?

A: Jack Schuback (sp?) response for FEMA. There is already FEMA guidance for recertification. FEMA is working with Congress, and intends to refine this guidance soon.

The 3 basic guidelines for recertification, as follows:

1) Continuing housing need must be shown, most people have this
2) have to demonstrate use initial assistance appropriately

  • in this case could be some other disaster need
  • could be other need for clothes, medicine
  • linient for first infusion, but for subsequent will need to show proper use

3) aggressively pursue long-term housing plan

  • repairs to damaged dwelling
  • relocate and find apartment

These are basic forms of recertification

Process that are using, response from Congress.

Will be refining guidance for people who are permanently relocate. Timeline for that, going refinement

Q#2 Where can you find Recert guidelines? Disaster recovery center

Cathy Fields, FEMA - Applicant guide published by FEMA. Letters that applicants get.

Q#3 Adjust to Local FMRs

For rent assistance, we do use HUD FMRs. Initial 2358 was national average, subsequent, we take into account where applicant has settled.

Q#4 City and State programs, living in these, how to get into KDHAP/DVP.

A, CF: Working hand in hand with HUD to ensure

Q#5 What is happening with March 1 deadline.

A, CF: Ensure people are eligible after March 1. K in place to pay rent subsidies that we have committed to pay. Some lease for 6-12 months. Where eligible applicants in those homes, just set up over last week-end. Looking to continue rent payments.

JS: 408 has more stringent than 403 assistance.

Q#5a will FEMA provide additional guidance for determination not done by Mar 1.

CF: If no determination, will continue on 403 assistance.

Q#6 Jan 20 memo from David Garrat for housing displaced people. How comminicating with local gov't?

CF: Weekly meetings with regional staff. Public assistance staff have had meetings too. Will field questions from regional staff, scheduled to talk next week with City of Austin.

Q#7 Got 2358 but haven't found housing with 2358? Allow some to stay in hotels?

Bruce Noss (sp?): FEMA has 800 housing locator service. Partner with DHR online, linked to fema.gov. Have field teams and DRCs in affected areas. WOrking to ID pre-disaster homeless and HUD eligible.

Michael with alces: FEMA has strong relationship with volunteer agencies, working on state and local level to help find certain assistance. VetAdmin, USDA, FnMae have listings

Q#8 How to get longer hotel time than 2/13?

A, BN: Folks with longer term housing plan, have apartment but not ready until after mar 1, trailer but not ready, special needs, case by case

Q#9 How long will FEMA have 1-on-1 interaction?

A, BN: Rental resource open until 403 transition complet