The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Monday a reimbursement program that will provide relocation assistance to disaster victims displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The damage and destruction caused by the hurricanes resulted in temporary relocation of many Gulf Coast residents to various locations within and outside of their pre-disaster states. For applicants returning to their pre-disaster state, relocation assistance is available for those who relocate to housing that is not provided by FEMA and is not a hotel or motel.
For those families that are already living in their pre-disaster state in FEMA travel trailers or mobile homes, FEMA will pay moving expenses to a FEMA-funded rental resource anywhere in the continental United States. However, FEMA will pay for an in-state move only if the new location is greater than 50 miles from the present location of the applicants.
The program will reimburse eligible applicants for relocation expenses up to $4,000 that were or will be incurred between August 29, 2005 and February 29, 2008 for Katrina, or September 24, 2005 to February 29, 2008 for Rita.
Funding for relocation expenses must be available within the FEMA Individuals and Households Program cap and the applicant must not have received funds from any other state, federal or voluntary agency subsidized travel home program.
To be eligible for the program, the applicant must have been displaced from their primary residence in a disaster-declared area as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and have incurred or will incur relocation travel expenses within the defined period.
Relocation Assistance will be limited to travel costs including airfare, train, bus and/or a rental vehicle.
Furniture transportation expenses also are eligible, including commercially rented equipment for hauling and commercially purchased moving materials or moving services to include cost of liability insurance and taxes. Mileage, gas, cost of liability insurance and taxes incurred while using commercial rented equipment are eligible costs.
Lodging cost for one night, one room if the distance between the current residence and the new residence is more than 400 miles is also eligible.
Moving costs for recreational or large luxury items such as boats or recreational vehicles are not eligible expenses under this program either.