FEMA Relocation Assistance

Oct 15, 2007 by

Time for our resident engineer to share some news with us again. Ladies and gentlemen, humidcity is proud to once more present the epistles of Matt McBride:

Dear New Orleanians,

This afternoon, FEMA posted the press release announcing the changes in the Relocation Assistance program. You can find it here:


This is the program that pays up to $4000 for moves and other relocation expenses for Katrina and Rita victims who have been displaced.

When the program was first announced on August 27th, FEMA only paid for moves between February 1, 2006 and Feb. 29, 2008. The reason for this was purely bureaucratic.

After a nearly instant outcry from many individuals that FEMA was penalizing early returners, the process for revising the program guidance began. Now, the opening dates have been moved back to the dates of the storms (8/29/05 for Katrina and 9/24/05 for Rita). This means that anyone who moved back after the storms may now be eligible.

The new press release does not make mention of the fact that this is a revision of the program, probably to prevent bringing up their error. That’s okay. What’s important is they made the program fair to all.

Also not mentioned in the release are the following points:

1) Acceptance of the relocation assistance means the ending of rental assistance. I suppose this could be controversial.
2) On the hotel room reimbursements (they pay for hotel rooms during a move), if the household has more than four persons or the hotel has occupancy restrictions, they will pay for additional rooms. Also, for each additional 400 miles travelled, they will pay for another night of hotel stays.
3) It’s not clear exactly what they are referring to when they say they will reimburse for “mileage,” in addition to gas & taxes.
4) They mention the cap on Individual & Households Program assistance, but do not provide the amount. It is $26,200.

As of today, the (800) 621-FEMA hotline now has a recorded message about this program. The recording mostly covers the stuff in the press release. As always, you should call the 800 number to register for the program and to get all the official information. Ask to be transferred to a Relocation Assistance specialist. FEMA has specifically trained personnel to process this paperwork and answer aid recipients’ questions.


ADDENDUM (2 hours later):

FEMA just placed another webpage about the Relocation Assistance program up:


They refer to this one as a Fact Sheet. It rejiggers the information in the earlier press release to make it more readable.


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