FEMA housing mission planning team in Missouri

A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) housing mission planning team is on the ground in Missouri to support the state in meeting its objectives of finding temporary suitable and functional housing in the communities impacted by the recent severe weather, the government agency announced on June 1.

Emergency assistance workers have been conducting call-outs to disaster assistance applicants to determine each applicant’s individual housing needs.

This team, comprised of housing and technical experts from FEMA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA Rural Development, and voluntary agencies, is assisting the state-led housing task force in establishing housing priorities and seeking ways to maximize housing resources, such as apartments and rental units and other options.

FEMA is asking landlords with available rental housing to register their units by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).When local rental resources do not exist, other options may be considered to help people find a safe and sanitary place to live.

The first step for individuals to be considered for temporary housing assistance is to register with FEMA. Registration may be completed online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by smartphone through m.FEMA.gov, or by phone by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals with hearing or speech impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585, or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362. Telephone registration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day.

Inspectors are on the ground assessing the registrant’s storm damage, and FEMA is approving financial assistance for housing, such as rental assistance, home repair and replacement money, and financial assistance for other essential disaster-related needs.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help homeowners, renters and businesses rebuild or repair their damaged houses and replace lost property. Filling out an SBA application is part of the FEMA registration process. A substantial amount of disaster aid comes through SBA disaster loans.

As of close of business, Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 10,624 disaster survivors have registered with FEMA for some form of disaster aid. To date, more than $15 million has been approved.