FEMA Will Start Increasing Rent for FEMA Trailers on June 1, 2023Posted on: May 8, 2023
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FEMA Trailer Rent Notices
- If you live in a FEMA Trailer, you should have been told your rent will increase.
- The rent is based on Fair Market Rent.
- Rent is paid for the month after you stay. So June’s rent will be due July 1.
FEMA only charges by full months. FEMA will charge you for a whole month even if you leave in the middle of the month.
- May 31, 2023
- Last day to stay in a FEMA trailer and not pay the increased rent. If you are going to move out, FEMA's unit inspection needs to be scheduled and completed before this date to avoid any fees.
- June 30, 2023
- Last day to appeal and get your rent lowered.
- July 1, 2023
- The first day rent will be due.
What are my options if I cannot afford the increased rent?
OPTION 1: MOVE OUT OF THE FEMA TRAILER
Schedule and prepare to move out by May 31, 2023
OPTION 2: APPEAL
File an appeal requesting a lowered rent amount
OPTION 1: Move out of the FEMA trailer
To avoid paying the higher rents, you must move out and surrender possession of the FEMA unit by May 31, 2023.
- Surrender possession
- Tell FEMA the date you plan to be out and schedule a unit inspection before May 31, 2023.
- Plan to move out. Contact FEMA immediately to schedule an inspection!
OPTION 2: Appeal
You can appeal and request that rent be lowered based on your household’s ability to pay:
- FEMA considers all factors of your household’s income and debts based solely on debt to income ratio.
- If you have bills that make a rent increase unaffordable, FEMA may lower your rent.
- June 30, 2023 is the deadline to file an appeal.
How to Appeal
- FEMA Accepted Appeal Form: FEMA will accept this simple form where you can write in your expenses. You can download the Sample Appeal Form here.
- The appeal form needs to be signed and dated by the head of the household.
- Send with your appeal:
- Income Info: paystubs, W-2, tax returns, SSA award letter, etc.
- If you have no income, complete this Sample No Income Statement here.
- Expense Info: all of your bills! Some examples are mortgages, storage fees, rental fees, insurance, utilities, medical, etc.
- Include your FEMA number and Disaster number on every document you submit!
- Send copies. Keep originals!
Proof of Income for the Appeal
- Everyone in the household over 18 years old must provide proof of income.
- Anyone in the household over 18 with no source of income must sign a no-income statement. Examples would be students and other household members with no income.
- You can download the Sample No Income Statement here.
Where do I send my appeal?
Do not send your appeal through your FEMA online portal or to the FEMA fax line!
Things are being handled locally in Baton Rouge. You should send the documents here:
- Email: FEMA-DR-4611-DIRECTHOUSINGAdminbox@fema.dhs.gov
- Fax: (225) 379-3387
Attention: FEMA Direct Housing
1500 Main Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Have questions for FEMA? Call (225) 346-4119.
What happens after I Appeal?
You can choose to pay the higher rent or continue paying the lower $50/month rent amount while waiting for the appeal.
However, if you lose, you will owe the difference back to FEMA. Your appeal outcome will be mailed and hand-delivered to you at the FEMA unit.
What happens if FEMA denies my appeal?
- If you chose to pay the higher rent all along, you will continue to pay the rent as usual.
- If you have not been paying the increased rent, you will have to pay the total rent amount charged within 30 days of the date of FEMA’s decision letter.
- You will also have to start paying the increased rent.
- REMINDER: FEMA will charge you an entire month’s rent even if you leave before the end of the month.
What happens if FEMA grants my appeal?
- If you have been paying your monthly rent amount, FEMA will refund any overpayment above the adjusted rent.
- The adjusted rent amount will be due on the first day of each month, as usual.
- If you have not been paying your monthly rent amount,
- You have to pay the total of these adjusted charges within 30 days of the date of FEMA’s decision letter and;
- Begin paying the adjusted rent on the 1st day of each month until you surrender possession of the FEMA trailer.
- FEMA will not prorate the adjusted rent, so it’s better to appeal sooner than later!
FEMA only charges for full months! Rent is never “prorated” by FEMA. FEMA will charge you for another month if you are late moving out or with an inspection. FEMA will charge you like you stayed the entire month.
- If you lose an appeal, you will owe FEMA money for any time you stayed longer.
- If you win an appeal and paid the higher rent, FEMA will reimburse you.
- ACT NOW! No matter what option you consider, acting sooner rather than later is better.
How do I apply for legal help?
- SLLS Disaster Hotline: 1-844-244-7871
- Apply online 24/7 at www.slls.org
- Walk into an SLLS office: https://slls.org/contact-us/
National Disaster Legal Aid Resources Center at www.disasterlegalaid.org.
To remain current with this and other important updates or deadlines, please visit our blog: https://slls.org/blog/