Survivors of the recent California wildfires, who are receiving rental assistance for temporary housing through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, may get additional help if needed.
Rental assistance is for paying rent. This includes a security deposit, and rent for a place other than your damaged home. To continue receiving rental assistance, survivors must show an ongoing need, by showing there isn’t housing available, or your permanent housing plan has not been completed through no fault of your own.
A permanent housing plan puts you back into safe, sanitary and functional housing, done within a reasonable time frame. You must continue to work toward a permanent housing plan to remain eligible for Continued Temporary Rental Assistance.
You may qualify for continued rental assistance if you:
· Demonstrate your disaster-related financial need; and
· Show you are actively working on a permanent housing plan; or
· Demonstrate progress of a plan by using a contractor’s estimate of repairs.
The deadline to apply with FEMA for disaster assistance is Oct. 25, 2021. This is for the California wildfires in the counties of Lassen, Plumas, Nevada, Placer, Tehama and Trinity. If you register in time, you may apply for rental assistance even if you haven’t already.
If you are currently receiving rental assistance, continue to update FEMA with your progress and if you have an ongoing need for assistance, you must ask for continued assistance. This is how you ask for assistance:
· Contact FEMA.
· Prove you spent previous assistance on rent.
· Provide the status of your permanent housing plan.
· Ensure funds are used for their intended purpose.
Extensions on rental assistance may be granted for 3-month periods, up to a maximum of 18 months from the date of the presidential declarations: Aug. 24, 2021.
The application must include these supporting documents:
· Pre-disaster and current household income status.
· Copies of pre-disaster lease, utility bills, renter’s insurance information.
· Copy of current lease or rental agreement signed by you and the landlord.
· Rental receipts, canceled checks or money orders showing the rental assistance was used to pay for housing expenses.
Submit documents by creating an account at DisasterAssistance.gov or by uploading via the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet.
If your FEMA Verified Loss is more than the amount of initial Rental Assistance award you received, the application to request Continued Temporary Rental Assistance will be mailed to you after you receive your initial rental assistance award.
If your verified loss is less than the initial rental award, you must call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 ( TTY: 800-462-7585) and ask for an application for Continued Temporary Rental Assistance.
You will need to call the Helpline to ask for an application for Continued Temporary Rental Assistance.
Your request will be evaluated to determine if you are eligible for the extension, but there is no guarantee of rental assistance past the first two months. For more information about California’s Wildfire recovery, visit Cal OES’ wildfirerecovery.caloes.ca.gov.
Survivors who may need to request an accommodation or have additional questions can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. PT, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.