N.C., FEMA working to transition Matthew survivors from shelters to housing

Raleigh – North Carolina officials are working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to transition displaced residents from emergency shelters in flooded areas to more stable temporary housing. At the height of the emergency on Oct. 9, there were 4,071 people housed in 81 shelters. Today that number is down to 972 people in 20 shelters.

“Getting families out of shelters and into stable housing is one of my top priorities through our North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund and the Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee we have established,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “We will continue working closely with our federal partners to find housing solutions as quickly as possible so that people can return to their homes, schools, businesses and normal way of life.”

Every disaster is unique and each family or individual’s needs are unique. FEMA and state officials carefully match housing solutions to the needs of each individual and family. A state-led housing task force that includes FEMA, local and voluntary agencies and the private sector is working to identify as many options as possible to keep families close to their home communities.

There are a variety of housing assistance programs and options available. FEMA and its partners will work with displaced survivors to provide the best solution to meet their individual needs. In some cases, disaster survivors may be eligible to stay in temporary lodging, such as a hotel, for a limited time and FEMA will cover the cost of the room and taxes.

Individuals and families ready to transition to stable, permanent housing, such as apartments or rental homes, may be eligible for assistance to help pay for up to 18 months of rent.

In some cases, displaced homeowners may also receive funds to repair their homes through the Individuals and Households (IHP) Program.

“We want to help people on the road to recovery as quickly as possible,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner. “Our focus is to find housing solutions that keep them in familiar surroundings so they’re better able to support their community and neighbors during the long recovery process.”

All homeowners, renters or business owners who sustained property damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew are encouraged to register with FEMA. Survivors may register in the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585.
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App.
  • Many survivors may not have access to a working telephone or internet,so those who need to do so, can visit a Disaster Recovery Center, or DRC. Find the nearest DRC by going online to www.fema.gov/drc.
    • Survivors requiring a reasonable accommodation (American Sign Language interpreting, Braille large print, etc.) also may wish to visit a DRC. When visiting a DRC, these survivors may call the appropriate Helpline number for support. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available in ASL at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111546.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if you have registered with another disaster-relief organization such as the American Red Cross, or local community or church organization.

You will be asked to provide:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged home or apartment
  • Description of the damage
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • A current contact telephone number
  • An address where you can get mail
  • Bank account and routing numbers if you want direct deposit of any financial assistance.

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