Continued FEMA assistance denied for woman paying rent, mortgage
BATON ROUGE - A flood victim says she's been denied continued rental assistance from FEMA.
While Anne Duvall repairs her home in Baton Rouge, she's been living in an apartment. FEMA awarded Duvall money to, which covered the deposit and the first month's rent. It did not cover utilities.
When Duvall reapplied for more assistance, she was denied by FEMA.
"They felt like I could afford the extra expense," she said.
Duvall is maintaining a mortgage and utilities at her home while it's repaired from the August flood. She's paid two months rent out of of her own pocket at the apartment FEMA initially assisted her with. She was hoping to be reimbursed by FEMA, after applying for continued rental assistance.
"I'm covering two residences at this point," said Duvall.
Last week, she submitted an appeal, but was told it could take anywhere from 30-90 days to hear back. At this rate, Duvall says she could be paying rent in addition to her mortgage for at least another few months.
She's been dipping into her savings, while hoping her appeal comes back with some positive news.
FEMA says about 66,000 households had received rental assistance in this disaster recovery. It also says this is the standard process that FEMA uses to identify households who qualify for continued temporary housing assistance.
Applicants have up to 90 days from the time they receive their initial rental assistance grant to submit their application for continued rental assistance and will need to provide documentation such as receipts.
The FEMA Helpline is 800-621-FEMA (3362). Applicants will be asked to demonstrate they have continued housing need and they have expended all rental funds previously received.
FEMA says it is working to help Duvall.