FEMA Has Provided Nearly $53 Million to Monroe County Irma Survivors
Monroe County homeowners and renters impacted by Hurricane Irma have received nearly $53 million in assistance for housing and other recovery needs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Here is a fact sheet regarding assistance provided to Monroe County residents:
- Since Hurricane Irma struck on Sept. 10, FEMA already has provided $52.9 million in grants to Monroe County homeowners and renters for uninsured damage to their primary residence and serious losses related to Hurricane Irma.
- About 15,700 Monroe County households have received FEMA grants, which can include money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance, such as replacing destroyed personal property.
- About 8,800 Monroe County households have been provided with rental assistance money from FEMA. Many families have received two months of rental assistance. This enables survivors to rent an available rental property and check out of hotels.
DIRECT HOUSING FROM FEMA
- As a last resort, 93 Monroe County households are staying temporarily in housing supplied by FEMA. This includes 78 households that have been licensed into temporary travel trailers and 15 households that have been licensed into FEMA direct-lease properties.
- Part of the FEMA license agreement for a travel trailer requires the applicant to search for long-term housing options. Every 30 days FEMA evaluates each applicant’s eligibility to remain in the trailer.
- Survivors do not apply for a travel trailer or direct-lease property. Two companies may be contacted by rental property owners interested in FEMA direct-leasing their property temporarily for the purpose of housing disaster survivors in need: Empire Hospitality at 888-307-5940 and, at Madison Hospitality, Cynthia Carter-Lee at 703-887-1158. FEMA will call survivors if they are eligible for direct housing.
STEP PROGRAM UPDATE
Another program activated in Monroe County is called Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP). Monroe County is receiving $10 million for this program that provides up to $20,000 in temporary emergency repairs, so survivors can remain in their homes while more permanent repairs are made. About 140 households have registered for this program to date. The STEP program hotline is 1-800-960-5860. Information about the STEP program and forms to fill out are available on the Monroe County website at: http://www.monroecounty-fl. gov/index.aspx?NID=728.
FEMA REGISTRATION DEADLINE / STAY IN TOUCH WITH FEMA
- The deadline to register with FEMA is Friday, Nov. 24.
- To register, call 1-800-621-3362 or visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
- After the deadline, you may continue to call FEMA to ask questions or request additional assistance.
- Only one registration per household is needed. If you have already registered with FEMA, do not register a second time. Hold onto your nine-digit FEMA registration ID number, so you can provide it if you need to get back in touch with FEMA.
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS STILL OPEN
- Four FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers are still open for a limited time in the Keys.
- They are opened Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed Sundays at the following locations: Marathon (6805 Overseas Highway); Islamorada (Fire Station #20, 81850 Overseas Hwy), Big Pine Key (30572 Overseas Highway, former Bank of America building) and Key West (3126 Flagler Ave.).
CONTINUED RENTAL ASSISTANCE
People who still cannot live in their primary residence after two months of rental assistance may be eligible for “continued rental assistance.” Visit one of the four FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in the Keys or call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to request continued rental assistance. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
HOME INSPECTIONS / HOUSING
- FEMA has conducted more than 22,000 home inspections in Monroe County for assistance eligibility. About 97 percent of the eligibility home inspections have been completed. As more inspections are done, more FEMA grant money for uninsured losses, such as for home repairs, may be approved for survivors. This process can help more people move back home or find alternative housing.
- By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments. About 28,700 insurance claims have been filed in Monroe County, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s Hurricane Irma webpage.
- As of today, people from about 500 Monroe County households who have uninhabitable primary residences and have encountered difficulty finding an appropriate place to rent are staying in hotels in FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. That number is down from a cumulative high of about 2,800.
- This temporary hotel program deadline can be extended more than once, based on survivor needs and rental property availability. Continued eligibility for each household is determined on a case-by-case basis, so the check-out deadline may or may not apply to a specific household, and it may be extended into December.
- Monroe County is working with charitable organizations on case management for the households in the temporary hotel program and other people who are displaced to help find them housing.