Department of Homeland Security

Disaster Rental Assistance

FEMA allows owners and renters who experience home damages to receive 2 months of initial rental assistance. They can then keep submitting requests for additional rental assistance called recert for an additional 16 months! In a normal situation landlords can give renters 1 month notice to move out. It does not make sense for renters in disasters to receive up to 18 months to find a new place to live. It also should not take an owner 18 months to have their homes repaired before they can move back into their damaged dwelling. Standard rental assistance should be 2 months for renters and 5 months for owners(2 months initial and can apply for an additional 3 months if needed). FEMA has now way of verifying these folks need to keep renting. No one goes out to see if they are living where they say the live or if their damaged dwelling has been repaired. FEMA could save millions of dollars. Natually a big disaster could have special considerations but those could be put in place at the time of the disaster. Applicants in every disaster should not be eligible for 18 months of rental assistance.

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Idea No. 11142