Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — An additional extension to the Disaster Housing Assistance Program-Ike (DHAP-Ike), giving families in Texas and Louisiana who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav until March 31, 2011 to transition to permanent housing solutions.

United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate announced the extension on Wednesday.

This extension will give the 6,000 families who continue to participate in the program an additional five months to transition from the program. The DHAP program has provided temporary rental assistance to families since November 2008, and was scheduled to end on October 31, 2010.

“Two years have passed since families in Texas and parts of Louisiana were devastated by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav,” said Secretary Donovan. “Thankfully the housing assistance and case management that DHAP-Ike provides will continue to be the safety net for these families as they continue rebuilding their lives.”

“This extension will continue to help thousands of families who were uprooted from their homes during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike cover their rent payments as they continue to look for permanent housing, ,” said Administrator Craig Fugate. “Our partnership with HUD is another example of FEMA’s commitment to working across the federal family, with all members of the nation’s emergency management team, to support the recovery needs of residents and communities.”

HUD and FEMA established the program through an Inter-Agency Agreement to assist homeowners and renters who were displaced by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike with up to 17 months of temporary housing assistance and case management. FEMA and HUD have extended the program to allow an additional 12 months of potential program eligibility based on the States of Louisiana and Texas requests. This new extension will allow FEMA and HUD to continue supporting the remaining families in DHAP in Texas and Louisiana as they transition to more permanent housing.

This program 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 residences that remained uninhabitable – exceeded 30 percent of their post-disaster income, and who also met other program requirements, continued receiving DHAP-Ike assistance. DHAP-Ike subsidized eligible families’ rent anywhere in the United States