FEMA wants people to pay as much as $1,000 to rent trailers
BATON ROUGE – FEMA began reminding people that assistance from the August 2016 flood ends in February and those living in MHUs will be charged rent.
Letters were sent to people in FEMA trailers recently and have become a controversial topic on social media sites where people impacted by the flood have been discussing their recovery. People are getting “sticker shock” since rent for some people is quoted more than $1,000 a month.
“I appreciate every bit of help we have received for sure but this is wrong of our government,” someone posted on one sight in a thread connected to a picture of a letter where FEMA alerted a rebuilding homeowner that come March, they'd be charged $1,056 per month.
FEMA said Thursday morning, rent will be calculated using fair market value dertermined by HUD. FEMA said the size and type of the trailer will be taken into account when determining rent.
“Occupants must meet contractual agreements that they signed at the beginning of their occupancy of the unit to continue living in them,” FEMA said in a blanket statement to WBRZ.
The disaster program ends February 14, 2018 – 18 months after the flood. The date has been marked for a while as federal authorities have discussed recovery efforts.
In comments about the situation on Facebook, some people said it's upsetting but the time has come to move on.
“If they gave you a home for almost a year that was a huge relief. We have to go on with our lives and stand up for ourselves. Assistance does not last forever. They did not destroy our homes. Nature did,” one person said in the thread.
According to stats online, the average rent in Baton Rouge for a 2-bedroom apartment with 931-square-feet is about $967 a month. Forty-two percent of people pay between $700-$1,000 per month to rent housing in Baton Rouge, according to website RENTCafe.
FEMA said it has posted more about the rental process on a special website: www.fema.gov/disaster/4277; find the “Resources for FEMA Housing Occupants” section.
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