May 13, 2010 12:01 PM by Melissa Canone
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate announced today a second extension to the Disaster Housing Assistance Program-Ike (DHAP-Ike), giving families who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav more time to transition to long-term housing solutions. This extension increases the total length of the program to two years for eligible families.
This extension will give approximately 9,200 families who continue to participate in the program an additional five months, or until October 31, 2010, to transition from the program that has provided temporary rental assistance and case management to families since November 2008. The program was scheduled to end on May 27.
"HUD and FEMA have partnered once again to see families who were displaced by hurricanes to full recovery," said Donovan. "DHAP has proven to be a successful federal agency partnership that will continue to assist families in future disasters."
"Our goal is the same as the residents of Louisiana and Texas - to assist families as they transition to more permanent housing," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "FEMA continues to work with HUD and state and local officials in support of the region's ongoing recovery."
HUD and FEMA established the program through an inter-agency agreement to assist homeowners and renters who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav with up to 17 months of temporary housing assistance and case management. To date, DHAP-Ike has aided approximately 26,300 families, with total federal investment at $253 million.
Included in President Obama's budget request to Congress, is an additional $66 million specifically directed to support disaster vouchers for families affected by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Families remaining in DHAP-Ike at the end of the program, who meet the eligibility requirements, will be transitioned to HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program to receive this rental assistance, which allows families to pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent.
DHAP-Ike provided full rental payments to participating families for the first six months. On May 1, 2009, families began paying $50 towards the rent. Each month thereafter, the tenant's portion of the rent increased by $50 until the tenant began paying the full rent or ended their participation in the program. The incremental rent payments will continue during this extension period. After May 2009, families whose housing expenses - rent and mortgage for personal residence that remained uninhabitable - exceed 30 percent of their post-disaster income, who also meet other program obligations, continued receiving DHAP-Ike assistance. DHAP-Ike subsidized eligible families' rent anywhere in the U.S.