FEMA housing recipients must comply with license agreement

Published 2:45 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas — More than 2,300 Texas households affected by Hurricane Harvey are currently living in temporary housing units (THUs) provided by FEMA. THU occupants may be eligible to stay in their FEMA unit for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration while securing a permanent housing solution, but they must abide by the terms of their license agreement.

Only people listed on the license are allowed to occupy the THU, and the license cannot be transferred to another party. FEMA retains the right to enter the unit to make inspections or repairs with 24-hour notice. In case of an emergency, no notice is required.

The temporary housing agreement requires occupants to search for long-term housing options. If long-term housing becomes available, the occupants may need to vacate the THU.

THU occupants must fully cooperate with FEMA to schedule meetings that will determine their continuing eligibility. This includes providing a land owner’s right of entry so FEMA can visit the occupants’ damaged home to evaluate the progress of repairs.

Eligibility meetings also will be used to ensure the occupants are making progress toward a permanent housing plan. Evidence of progress may include receipts for repairs or a signed lease for new housing.

Smoking is not allowed in THUs, and occupants are not allowed to store or use grills, fire pits, fireworks, propane tanks or other combustible substances inside the unit. Up to two pets are allowed.

Occupants may not paint or otherwise alter the interior or exterior appearance of the THU. However, small adjustments that would qualify as normal wear and tear, such as putting small nails in the wall to hang picture frames, are allowed.

Survivors living in commercial parks also must abide by all of the park’s rules and regulations.

Violations of these or any other conditions in the licensing agreement may result in penalty fees or termination of the agreement.

Since Hurricane Harvey, 2,855 Texas households have spent time living in a FEMA THU, including 2,344 that are still working on their permanent housing solution.

Survivors who have questions about the revocable housing license should contact their caseworker or the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY, 800-462-7585).

For more information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the FEMA Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4332, the FEMA Harvey Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FEMAharvey, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at www.dps.texas.gov/dem/.