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FEMA deadlines fast approaching

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Jan 10, 2023

FEMA deadlines are fast approaching for those who suffered property loss, or damage caused by Hurricane Ian, or Hurricane Nicole.

The deadline for homeowners and renters is Jan. 12 for Hurricane Ian property loss, or damage and Feb. 13 for homeowners and renters affected by Hurricane Nicole. A separate application is required for each disaster if there was property damage or loss caused by both hurricanes.

“Our goal is to continue to ensure residents are aware of the different resources available from FEMA, the State of Florida and Lee County Government. Regardless of the level of damage residents experienced, they are encouraged to apply to FEMA. Future disaster-related federal funding for our community is based on the number of actual applications generated to FEMA by a storm,” Lee County Government spokesperson Betsy Clayton said.

Individuals can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or download the FEMA mobile app. Those who apply should make sure their most current contact information is on file, as a home inspection, or additional information may be needed.

FEMA provides continued temporary housing assistance under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, which pays temporary rent, including security deposit at a place other than the individual’s damaged home.

There is also rental assistance, which can be used to rent a house, apartment, manufactured home, recreational vehicle, or another readily fabricated dwelling. This assistance also includes electricity and water. The rental amount is based on fair market rates determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Those who may qualify for continued temporary housing assistance include being awarded initial rental assistance and used as it was intended; are unable to return to the pre-disaster residence because it is uninhabitable, inaccessible, or not available; demonstrate a disaster caused financial need; not receiving temporary housing assistance for any other source and show the development of a longer-term or permanent housing plan, or demonstrate the progress towards one plan.

For a homeowner, if the real property FEMA verified losses are either equal, or greater, than

Other assistance includes reimbursement for hotel costs for homeowners and renters, as well as grants to support the repair, or replacement of owner-occupied homes, which serve as the primary residence. Other reimbursements can be used for replacement for personal property and vehicles, as well as funds for moving, storage, medical, dental, childcare and other pre-approved miscellaneous items.