Updated 9/19/2022

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Talk to the water or power company if you get behind on your bill.

Do not ignore unpaid bills.

Unpaid bills can lead to cutoffs.

What if I can’t pay my Entergy bill?

First - contact Entergy.

There is online information about Entergy payment assistance here.

You can also call Entergy at 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749)

You have some Entergy payment options:

  • See if you qualify for  a payment extension.
  • See if you qualify for a deferred payment plan.
  • See if a level billing plan works of you. That plan keeps  your monthly bills  the same for all  over a 12 months.
  • See if you qualify for the Power to Care Program.  Contact the New Orleans Council on Aging at (504) 821-4121.

How do I apply to get money to help pay these bills?

LIHEAP (the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) has federal money to help people  pay energy bills and other energy-related expenses.

Total Community Action (TCA) connects people with LIHEAP aid.

To see if you qualify for LIHEAP , call TCA.

(504) 324-8609.

You can also use the TCA website here.

What if I can’t pay my Sewerage and Water bill?

First, contact Sewerage and Water Board (SWB).

SWB has online information about help with payments here.

You can also call SWB.

(504) 529-2837

See if you qualify for the Sewerage and Water Board Water Help/Plumbing Assistance Program.

The program helps elderly, disabled and lower-income customers pay their water bills and make minor plumbing repairs.

Total Community Action (TCA) connects people with help from this program.

You apply in person at:

Total Community Action
1424 South Jefferson Davis Parkway
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 324-8609

To get this:

  1. You must live in Orleans Parish.
  2. You must be at least 62 years old, or disabled or handicapped, according to Social Security, Veterans Administration, or another listed agency.
  3. Household income must be under poverty level guidelines for the area.
  4. The water meter must serve only one unit.
  5. Your Account must not be in dispute status.

Bring the following to apply:

  1. proof of age (driver's license, birth certificate, or another authentic document).
  2. proof of physical disability if under the age of 62.
  3. proof of income (award letter or four check stubs in a row).
  4. Account statement showing you are the customer of record and that your account is active.

For more information you can call TCA: (504) 324-8609.

Other options for your SWB bill.

Ask the Sewerage and Water Board about a “Payment Arrangement” plan.

You may qualify for a payment plan to help pay off your bill.

The plan will let you pay off what you owe over several months.

Other help for paying water and power bills.

Catholic Charities of New Orleans - Utility Aid
Call (504) 523-3755.
Website: https://www.ccano.org/

City of New Orleans Department of Human Services (formerly City Welfare)
New Orleans City Hall
Room 1W30
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 658-3310

Orleans Parish Council on Aging (COA)
2475 Canal Street (4th Floor)
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 821-4121

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Updated 3/15/2022

The information below tells you what kind of FEMA help you may be able to get after you have used up the first round of rent help FEMA gave you.

FEMA gave people up to two months of rent money after Hurricane Ida.

Two months of rent may not be enough for some people.

People who need more months of help may be able to get more aid from FEMA.

FEMA can give continued rental assistance for up to 18 months of rent help. This help can be for renters and homeowners.

FEMA can only help people who qualify for more aid.

Who qualifies for more rent help from FEMA?

One of two things must be true to get extra aid.

  • FEMA can help homeowners and renters who will return to their rental if disaster-related repairs are not done yet


  • FEMA can help people who will have to move who have not yet been able to find an affordable place to live if it is not that person’s fault.

How do I apply for more rent aid?

1. If possible, plan ahead

Get your paperwork and other information together now.

FEMA may take at least 30 days to review your request for more aid after FEMA gets your paperwork.

Apply will before your rent is due. If you delay, FEMA may not get aid to you before your rent is due.

2. Fill out a Declaration of Continuing Need for Temporary Rental Assistance

This form asks about these things:

    • Your shelter costs now
    • What your shelter costs were before Hurricane Ida
    • Your income
    • What your plan is to get into housing you can afford without FEMA aid

Make sure you give FEMA all of the information they ask for!

The application must not have any missing information.

Any blanks on the form will slow down your request for rent aid.

FEMA will ask for information for any missing details.

Important: Make sure you sign the declaration!

FEMA will not process your form unless you sign it.

FEMA also needs paperwork from you to show that the declaration is true.

3. Get together paperwork FEMA needs

FEMA wants paperwork to show you qualify for more aid.

Here is a list of the paperwork FEMA needs:

FEMA must have a copy of your current lease or rental agreement.  FEMA will not give for more aid without this. The lease must include the name and phone number of the landlord.

    • A copy of your previous lease

If you were a pre-disaster renter, you must give FEMA a copy of your pre-disaster lease.

    • Copies of your rent receipts/checks

FEMA needs to know you spent all of the first round of rent aid.

You must submit a copy of all rent receipts, cancelled checks, or money orders to prove that the earlier FEMA rent aid was spent on rent. This includes hotel receipts.

    • Proof of Income for everyone over age 18 in the household

FEMA needs proof of income for all family members over age 18 living in the home.

This proof of income for each household member must show income before Hurricane Ida and after Hurricane Ida.

Proof of income may include:

      • Recent pay statements. (Provide several, especially if paid more than monthly.)
      • Social Security income statements.
      • Unemployment benefit statements.
      • Retirement benefit statements.
      • Any other paperwork that shows monthly income.
    • Utilities statements:

FEMA needs proof of utility bills dated before and after Hurricane Ida.

    • If you have insurance: a copy of your policy

People with homeowner’s insurance cannot get rental assistance if their insurance covers either “Additional Living Expenses” or “Loss of Use” claims.

If your homeowner’s insurance does not cover “Additional Living Expenses” or “Loss of Use”, you MUST include a copy of your policy or your declaration page so FEMA can see this.

4. Send Your Application and Paperwork to FEMA

Put all of your paperwork for your application for more rent aid together in one packet to send to FEMA.

5. Put the following information on every page of the papers you send to FEMA:

  • Your full name
  • Your full address
  • Your phone number
  • The disaster number (Hurricane Ida is 4611)
  • Your FEMA Registration ID

Keep copies of everything you send to FEMA! Keep these copies in a safe place! That way you have a backup in case FEMA misfiles what you submit.

You can send information to FEMA online, by FAX, or by mail.

You can upload your paperwork for FEMA to your disasterassistance.gov account.

You can FAX your paperwork to FEMA  at 1-800-827-8112.

    • Make sure the FAX cover sheet, too, has your name, your FEMA registration number, and that the coversheet says that the  packet is an application for continued rental assistance.
    • Keep copies of everything you FAX to FEMA, and keep a copy of the FAX transmission sheet that shows that the FAX went through, including the FAX number, date and time. Keep a copy of the FAX cover sheet plus ever sheet of what was in the FAX packet.

You can mail your packet to  FEMA, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055.

    • Keep copies of everything you mail to FEMA. If you can get the post office to give you a Proof of Mailing Receipt, or other proof of when and how the packet was sent to FEMA.

What if I do not have something in the list?

If you are missing anything FEMA will usually take much longer to decide your claim or may deny it. So it is best to think of other ways to get what you don’t have. You might ask your old landlord for the old lease. For income documents you might ask an  employer or use bank records that show the deposits.

If you can’t get anything, write a statement that includes:

  • Why the document was missing—for example if it was in your home and destroyed or lost in the Ida damage, say that.
  • What was in the missing document. If you are missing a lease include the monthly rent, and phone and address of the landlord.
  • Phone number and address for anyone else involved, like your past landlord or employer.
  • Your signature and date you signed it.
  • Ideally, the signature of any other persons involved, (landlord, employer) and date they signed it.
  • Above the signatures: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

What if FEMA didn’t give me enough money to rent a place to live?

For Hurricane Ida FEMA can give up to 175% of its normal rent amounts if convinced you need more to find a place to live.

If you applied for continued rental assistance and you did not get enough to afford a place to rent, you may be able to get free legal aid from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. Call our Helpline at 1-844-244-7871 to apply or fill out our online application here.

What else do I need to know?

Even if FEMA gives you more rent aid, it does not mean you will keep getting aid for 18 months.

If you own your home, FEMA expects you to return to your home as soon as repairs are done.

If you rent a place to live FEMA expects you to find a place you can afford without FEMA help as soon as possible.

FEMA will stop giving aid if it thinks you could have gotten back into an affordable home.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Who does the new rule apply to?

Tenants, owners, and management of the following types of housing subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) –

  • Public Housing
  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, including
    • New Construction
    • State Housing Agency Program
    • Substantial Rehabilitation
    • Section 202/8
    • Rural Housing Services Section 515/8
    • Loan Management Set-Aside (LMSA)
    • Property Disposition Set Aside (PDSA)
    • Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)
  • Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract (PAC)
  • Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC)
  • Section 202 Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contract (SPRAC)
  • Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Contract

This rule does NOT apply to –

  • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (tenant-based vouchers)
  • Section 8 Project Based Voucher Program (project-based vouchers administered by a Public Housing Authority)

What does it require?

On November 8, 2021 a set of new HUD regulations went into effect which require Landlords at the above properties must provide more notice to tenants before evicting them for nonpayment of rent during certain federally-declared disasters where HUD has published a determination to enforce the new rule: 

  • At least 30 days’ notice must be provided for eviction for nonpayment of rent; and
  • The notice must notify tenants of available Emergency Rental Assistance, and include at least the information in the Appendix to the attached HUD Supplemental Guidance (PIH 2021-29; H 2021-06)

HUD published its determination that the conditions exist for the rule to go into effect here, so it is currently in effect. HUD’s Interim Final Rule outlining the changes can be found here.

When does it go into effect?

The new rule went into effect on November 8, 2021. 

How do I know if a property is covered?

How do you know if a property has a subsidy covered by the new rule? You can check one of the following databases: 

  • National Housing Preservation Database: https://preservationdatabase.org/
  • HUD Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance database: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/mfh/exp/mfhdiscl

If a tenant is paying below-market rent equal to about 1/3 of their income at a multifamily property operated by a Public Housing Authority or private owner, they may be covered by this protection.