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Harvey trailers: FEMA to charge


Staff report

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey survivors living in Federal Emergency Management Agency temporary housing units have until Monday to seek rent reduction requests.

After that date, FEMA will charge rent for the manufactured units and travel trailers. Rent reduction appeals could bring the charge down as low as $50 a month.

Brittany Eck, director of communications for the General Land Office’s community development and revitalization program, said about 1,000 temporary units remain in the counties eligible for aid. That number is diminished daily, she said, as survivors return to their homes or find long-term housing.

The Texas General Land Office is the state agency charged with carrying out federal aid related to Harvey.

Eck said in an issued statement Wednesday that FEMA’s temporary housing program was originally planned to end on Feb. 25. But Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced Nov. 28 that the program would be extended to Aug. 25. However, rent would be imposed after Feb. 25.

“Survivors who cannot afford fair-market rent are able to petition for a reduction by contacting FEMA. Eligibile households received a letter from FEMA including information about the costs related to the extension. Households that cannot afford Fair Market Rent, however, may have their rate reduced as low as $50 per month,” she said. FEMA uses U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines to determine a homeowner’s eligibility.

Occupants with questions about rent can contact a case manager at femadr4332txrent@fema.dhs.gov.

Eck also said people living in temporary housing units can purchase their manufactured homes or trailers for up to 30 days after they receive a notification letter. To be eligible to purchase a unit, the occupant must have no permanent housing solution through no fault of his own.

Sale prices depend upon the type of unit that is occupied.

Temporary housing occupants with questions about purchasing their units should call 855-336-2003 or fax 512-490-1248.