FEMA details housing assistance for Laura evacuees

State News

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KLFY) — FEMA outlined how they plan to help Hurricane Laura evacuees move back into their communities while they can’t live in their homes.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving people two options for housing assistance, and the agency is conducting interviews to judge which option fits best for each household.

Housing assistance will come through either leasing property from FEMA or bringing a FEMA trailer to a homeowner’s property as they make it liveable again.

“It’s certainly not lost on all of us that tens of thousands of residents of this parish are really going through a challenging time right now,” said Regional FEMA Director Gerard Stolar during his opening comments in a Calcasieu Parish press conference focusing on housing.

With power and water priorities almost restored to most of the hardest-hit areas from Hurricane Laura, the focus now pivots to bringing evacuees back to rebuild.

“We absolutely want our population home,” communicated Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “We want our family members home at the right time and part of that is housing.”

As of Wednesday, 9200 people qualify in the state for direct housing assistance. Many of those people are living in hotels, shelters, or with family and friends. Those in the direst circumstances are already receiving interview calls.

“The bottom line here is that every household is unique, and so each household’s requirements recovery process will be different and may require a different period of time,” Stolar said.

The best-case scenario will be to get a trailer on a homeowner’s property, and the option of last resort would be hundreds of families and their units on a commercial lot. Alexandria will be a staging area where units are currently being transported for inspection before use.

According to Stolar, “The process is underway, okay, but I’m not prepared to put a date certain on when you’ll actually see units in the Calcasieu Parish area.”

Only people who quality through FEMA will be able to get this assistance, and if you don’t qualify, they are working with non-profits to get this assistance to you.

If you have not received a call from FEMA within 7-10 days concerning housing assistance, you are asked to call 800-621-3362. It could be something on your end keeping them from connecting you with help.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.