Thousands of Texas landlords answered the call to register their rental units with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as temporary housing for Texans displaced by Hurricane Ike. But state and federal disaster recovery officials say many more rentals are needed.
“Housing assistance continues to be our number one priority,” said State Coordinating Officer Joan Haun. “Every effort is being made to house victims near their homes, but the reality is that some families may have to temporarily relocate to other areas.”
Over 26,000 rental units, more than half of them in Harris County, are currently available to homeowners and renters impacted by the storm. Nearly 3,000 of those rental units are in counties such as Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Jefferson, Montgomery, and Orange.
Haun urges interested landlords to call the FEMA Rental Resources Hotline to list their available units. The landlord Hotline number is 866-766-6086, open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CDT.
“The most logical resource for temporary housing is the use of existing rental units,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman. “These units are immediately available, plus it helps the local economy and provides better housing for those working to recover.”
Available rental units continue to be identified and listed on the FEMA Housing Portal Web site thanks to the joint efforts of many, including local landlords, AmeriCorps volunteers, FEMA housing specialists, state agencies and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Since Oct. 1, the number of rental units available has more than tripled from 7,000 to more than 26,000 to date. The Web site can be found at
Users can search the database by city, county, ZIP code, number of bedrooms and cost. A variety of property sizes and prices are available. Portal users do not have to be eligible for FEMA housing assistance to use the site, but FEMA and state officials are urging anyone who has received FEMA rental assistance and is still looking for a place to live, to use the database.
The following table breaks down the number of rental units in some of the hardest hit counties as of Oct. 16:
Brazoria               498
Fort Bend              83
Galveston            425
Harris             15,690
Jefferson              625
Liberty                 226
Montgomery        605
Orange                  66
Total               18,218

Homeowners, renters, and business owners can call FEMA at 800-621-FEMA(3362), (TTY 800-462-7585) to apply for disaster assistance, check the status of their applications and update contact numbers.