USA: HUD, FEMA Extend Disaster Housing Assistance Program

Release Date: February 4, 2010

Release Number: HQ-10-009

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate announced an extension to the Disaster Housing Assistance Program-Ike (DHAP-Ike), giving approximately 11,000 families who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav more time to transition to longer term housing solutions.

HUD and FEMA are extending this program at the request of the states of Louisiana and Texas to allow housing authorities across the United States to continue assisting these families through this temporary rental assistance program established soon after the 2008 storms.

Today's announcement extends DHAP-Ike until May 27, 2010 - the latest date allowed by the program's current grant authority. Additional grant authority - required for any further extension - is currently being explored.

DHAP-Ike began assisting families in November 2008 when HUD and FEMA established the program to assist homeowners and renters who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav with up to 17 months of temporary housing assistance and case management.

DHAP-Ike provided full rental payments to participating families for the first six months. On May 1, 2009, families began paying $50 towards the rent. 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 the extension period.

After May 2009, families whose housing expenses, taking into account existing mortgages for personal residences that remain uninhabitable, did not exceed 30 percent of post-disaster gross income were no longer eligible for DHAP-Ike. Families whose housing expenses - rent burden and mortgage included - exceed 30 percent of their post-disaster income, who also meet other program obligations, are able to continue receiving assistance. Eligible families can live in a community outside of the disaster area and DHAP-Ike will subsidize their rent anywhere in the U.S.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.