FEMA Extends TSA (Hotel) Benefits for One Month

At the request of the Cuomo Administration, FEMA has announced a one-month extension for Sandy victims receiving transitional sheltering assistance (TSA) benefits.  TSA is a direct-payment program between FEMA and approved hotels.  With this extension, the current check-out date is August 6, 2013.  An alternative method of temporary housing assistance is FEMA’s “rental assistance” program, which provides victims with direct payments that subsidize the cost of a longer-term rental while their primary residence is being repaired.  Given the imbalance between the supply and demand of housing after a disaster, and how that imbalance can drive up rental rates, both programs are important.  Many TSA recipients transition to the rental program.  The rental program is also important because it offsets some of the added expense of a rental on top of a mortgage on a damaged home, repair costs, and other disruptions.  But appropriate rentals can be difficult to find for some victims with disabilities, who will benefit greatly from this extension – especially where their customized homes remain uninhabitable because of delays in getting insurance proceeds or problems with contractors.

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