TEMPORARY DISASTER PROGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF HURRICANES IKE & GUSTAV ENDS TODAY –REMAINING FAMILIES GIVEN MORE TIME TO TRANSITION
$28 million to convert eligible families to more permanent housing assistance
WASHINGTON – A rental assistance program that temporarily housed nearly 20,000 families who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2008 officially ends today with only 3,500 households still enrolled in the program. To help these families find permanent housing solutions, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide $28 million to convert eligible families to its Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.
Since these two powerful hurricanes struck nearly five years ago, the Disaster Housing Assistance Program Ike (DHAP- Ike) assisted approximately 17,500 families in the Gulf Coast region, primarily in Texas and Southeastern Louisiana. Originally designed as a 17-month temporary assistance program, DHAP-Ike, HUD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) extended the program several times to give families an opportunity to find stable housing. The program was administered by public housing authorities and thousands of private landlords.
“Over these past five years, we’ve worked to help tens of thousands of families get back on their feet and we are committed to helping the families remaining in the Disaster Housing Assistance Program make that transition too,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “I’m pleased Congress answered HUD’s call for more funding to help these last remaining families find a permanent place they can finally call home.”
Since last September, HUD and local public housing authorities worked to inform the remaining 3,500 families of the conclusion of DHAP-Ike and to encourage them to apply for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. To provide additional time for families to make this transition, HUD and FEMA will provide interim rental payments on behalf of DHAP-Ike families deemed eligible for the HCV for up to up to two months, from February 1, 2012, through March 31, 2012.
Families must meet income eligibility requirements to convert to the HCV program, which allows families to generally pay not more than 30 percent of their income for rent.
President Obama’s 2012 budget requested additional funding specifically directed to allow HUD to support vouchers for families affected by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. The Administration worked with Congress through the 2012 appropriations process to provide the funding necessary to transition the remaining families to more permanent accommodations.