FEMA and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are working hard to ensure that disaster survivors whose homes and property were damaged by Eastern Kentucky flooding have safe places to stay temporarily while they take steps to recover.
To help with the shortage of sheltering and housing options, the Commonwealth established the Commonwealth Sheltering Program. This non-congregate sheltering program offers temporary solutions, including state parks and travel trailers. Non-congregate shelters are locations where an individual or family can live safely with some level of privacy. Survivors seeking short term shelter can go online to the Governor’s Flood Resources webpage and click on Eastern Kentucky Sheltering Program or call 502-234-1225.
FEMA has approved direct temporary housing assistance in four counties: Breathitt, Knott, Letcher and Perry. This program makes available several additional short-term housing solutions to disaster survivors. However, it takes time to transport, permit, install and inspect these units, before they are available. This is why the state’s more immediate temporary sheltering program is such a critical bridge to recovery.
The Direct Housing program provides three primary options:
- Multi-Family Lease and Repair, where FEMA enters into a lease agreement with the owner of multi-family rental properties (i.e., three or more units) and makes repairs to provide temporary housing for applicants.
- Temporary Housing Units such as a travel trailer or manufactured home; and
- Direct Lease, which is leasing existing ready-for-occupancy housing.
Direct temporary housing takes significant time to implement and is not an immediate solution for a survivor’s interim and longer-term housing needs. Additionally, not everyone impacted by the disaster will be eligible for direct housing. Therefore, it is important that partners at all levels – local, Commonwealth, other federal, nonprofit and private sector – work together to fill any gaps.
Survivors who have applied with FEMA for assistance do not need to reapply to be eligible for Direct Housing. If a survivor has not yet applied with FEMA, they can do so by going to DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or downloading the FEMA mobile app.
FEMA aid may include rental assistance, which is money for eligible survivors to temporarily rent another place to live, such as a house, apartment, hotel or motel room, or travel trailer while repairs are being made to their primary residences. Many people may also be referred to one of our partner agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Survivors need to stay in touch with FEMA as their plans and contact information change. When phone numbers or mailing addresses change, FEMA can’t reach you. So, after you apply for disaster assistance, you need to let FEMA know each time your information changes. Individuals and households may be eligible for different programs as they move forward with their recovery.