Governor Perry Joins HUD, FEMA to Launch Rental Assistance Program

Harris County, TX – Gov. Rick Perry today joined U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Steve Preston and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson to announce a rental assistance program for Texans displaced by Hurricane Ike. The program, created at Gov. Perry’s request, will help Texans find intermediate housing and provide temporary rental payments.

“Texans whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Ike are not alone as they face the task of rebuilding,” said Gov. Perry. “I am thankful that our partners at HUD and FEMA have responded quickly and effectively to our request for assistance for Texans in need.”

The program, titled Disaster Housing Assistance Program - IKE (DHAP-IKE), is a coordinated effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and HUD to provide a transparent and predictable means to deliver timely rental assistance to eligible families displaced by the hurricane. The program is designed to encourage families to move from their current shelter in place directly to DHAP-IKE rental units.

Evacuees who cannot return to their homes or apartments by Nov. 1, 2008 due to Hurricane Ike’s devastation, and that FEMA determines eligible, will be provided rental assistance. HUD, through its network of Public Housing Agencies, will work with families and landlords to ensure eligible families can find suitable apartments.

Initially, HUD will provide full rental assistance to approved families and beginning May 1, 2009, families will be responsible for paying $50 per month for their housing. The cost for housing will increase by $50 each month until the DHAP-IKE program ends in April 2010.

Families in need of housing assistance must first register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visiting HUD will soon establish a 1-800 number for Ike evacuees to call and get help understanding DHAP-Ike.

A joint State-Federal Housing Task Force, initiated at Gov. Perry’s direction last week, is focused on long-term housing needs and solutions. The task force is working with FEMA and HUD to develop a more comprehensive strategic housing response to Hurricane Ike. Today’s announcement is a key outcome of this group’s cooperative effort.