FEMA Trailer and MHU program ends 18 months after a disaster declaration date.

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Your states governor will need to submit to FEMA an extension for the temporary shelters. The extension will come at a price which your governor may pay for out of state funds or charge the occupants based on income or a flat monthly fee typically 50.00.

By Murray Wennerlund published 1-10-2022 updated 1-11-2022 4 min. 0 seconds read viewed 69 times.


Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta forced thousands into FEMA sponsored mobile homes (MHU) and Travel Trailers. FEMA typically provides temporary shelters for 18 months then starts the process of storing the MHU's and trailers for the next disaster. 

Your governor has the option of requesting additional time for the MHU's and trailers. FEMA will grant the additional time and offer the shelters for rent. Rents are always asked to be waived but they seldom are waived to zero. FEMA has to justify the monthly inspections and will ask for fair market value for rents then they will settle on $50 per month which could be higher in 2023 for cost of living adjustments. But since 2018 the rents have been $50 on a month to month inspection schedule after the 18th month from the date of the declared disaster. 

In Louisiana Governor Edwards seems to always wait for the last week before applying to FEMA for your extensions. This follows the process of allowing the people to find alternative housing so the state can lower it's demand for FEMA assistance. During the 2016 floods in Louisiana and after the 18th month the state produced reports indicating a housing shortage and the inability for many to pay more than 30% of the household income. The Governor's disaster team went as far as to indicate what a household has to earn to be able to pay fair market rent. At the time of the report, (Nov. 2016) a 2 bedroom was $822 per month, minimum wage was $7.25 and the household needed to have at least $15.81 per hour to avoid paying more than 30% of their total income to housing. 

FEMA will most likely approve a 6 month extension once the governor asks for it. In the past FEMA has responded with minimum monthly rents and has included rent increases of 50% FMR to full Fair Market Rents (FMR). Many homeowners still rebuilding their homes were able to stay in the temporary housing until their homes were finished. The state worked with FEMA to show homeowner progress similar to what FEMA requires people to do now which is to search at least 3 other locations per month to rent. 

The state has rental programs that will and should take over once FEMA's rental program ends. Be sure you visit "Disaster Assistance by Louisiana Governors Get a Game Plan using Communications Obscurity to limit assistance" for more links to more assistance. 

When your extensions are granted you should not plan on staying long. You will need to find a new place fast. You'll need to ask about renters assistance which can pay part if not all (depending on income) of your rents for 18 to 20 months. If you are a homeowner you'll need to also file for mortgage assistance along with rental assistance and take the higher paying services. Often it's best to accept the rental assistance while you repair your home. 

You're going to be reading about the $595 million not being enough to pay for all the unmet needs. The program is designed to have several allocations unless HUD or Congress say this is it, no more allocations. Your US Congressional representatives will know more on what they are asking for. The $595 will get the state moving forward once the state submits it's action plan and requests for waivers. This is where the people of the disaster have to get involved so you get your share of the recovery funds. Otherwise, you're going to be taking on all the disaster debt burden yourself. 

If you find a place to rent and it's too expensive, check the Fair Market Rents (FMR) from HUD for that area. Then ask the state to reduce the payment with HUD funds. This is rental assistance which can pay all or a part of your rents. Typically the rental assistance pays the FMR then you the occupant pays the remaining amount. So if FMR is $800 and your rent is $1,000 you will be paying $200 per month. 

If you have questions call the states housing authority also called OCD and OCD-DRU which handles HUD grants and assistance. 

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FEMA Trailer and MHU program ends 18 months after a disaster declaration date.

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