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FEMA offers extensions on temporary housing aid

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019 12:00 pm

BEAUFORT — Weeks after the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Dec. 19 application deadline for Hurricane Florence recovery assistance, the agency is still distributing housing aid to county residents.

FEMA spokesperson Angela Byrd said there are a number of housing options for struggling residents.

“If you are a Hurricane Florence survivor who needs to extend temporary housing assistance from FEMA, it’s important you provide FEMA with the proper documents,” reads a Jan. 2 press release.

In the weeks following the storm, FEMA responded to the growing need for housing among due to displaced residents. The organization is encouraging those still in need of housing assistance to apply for an extension.

“If you are eligible for an extension, you may use continued temporary housing assistance to pay for a place to live, such as a house, apartment, hotel or recreational vehicle,” reads the release. “The assistance covers rent, security deposit and essential utilities, like electricity and water.”

While much of that aid includes funds to help pay for what is described as “transitional shelter,” the agency eventually decided to include travel trailers at the behest of county officials and residents.

“I have attached the latest recovery stats for Carteret County, which shows nine (travel trailers) have been licensed,” reads an email from Ms. Byrd.  

The travel trailers FEMA has provided are part of its Direct Temporary Housing Assistance Program.

This figure was as of Dec. 18, according to the fact sheet. Ms. Byrd expects the agency to provide additional trailers as the weeks pass.

“That is not the final amount,” she said.

Trailers are only available to those who initially registered before last month’s deadline, according to Ms. Byrd.

“The survivor would have had to apply for assistance, been approved for it, and received an eligibility status to receive a trailer,” Ms. Byrd wrote in a Thursday email. “If a survivor has been denied by FEMA, he/she can appeal the decision.”

FEMA will hold free appeal clinics at Carteret Community College Saturday, Feb. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to noon and again from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

Even if you did apply before the deadline, those who want a trailer must be invited to apply for one by FEMA.

“When they apply for assistance, especially if there is a housing assistance need, FEMA will contact those that are eligible for trailers,” Ms. Byrd said. “It’s more of a case-by-case basis. (The trailers are) especially for those who have their homes deemed unlivable, it’s not livable, safe or sanitary. But it is a case-by-case situation.”

As of Dec. 18, FEMA has conducted 6,500 home inspections in the county, according to its figures. Of the county’s total home inspections requests, FEMA estimates around 99 percent have been completed.

The agency also touts other figures, including $7.4 million in grant funding split among 2,358 of the county’s homeowners and renters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration, another agency that works alongside FEMA, has granted a little more than $40 million in low-interest loans to almost 1,000 homeowners and renters, according to FEMA’s fact sheet.

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email Dean@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

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1 comment:

  • Core Sounder posted at 9:31 am on Sat, Jan 12, 2019.

    Core Sounder Posts: 418

    Forget FEMA, most of their grant money will be used to rebuild the ocean front beaches along Bogue Banks so the high dollar home owners can get their beaches back. Spent 2 days applying for help from this bunch and ended up being nothing but a waste of time. Did get approval for a loan but far too many strings attached with insurance salesmen and lawyers ending up with most of the loan amount.


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