February 14, 2006
HUD CREATES NEW, EXPANDED HURRICANE DISASTER VOUCHER PROGRAM
Bush Administration provides additional $390 million to assist families with housing
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has used the $390 million supplemental appropriation President Bush signed recently to replace and expand its current rental assistance program that aided families who lost their homes to hurricane Katrina.
The Disaster Voucher Program (DVP) extends eligibility for assistance to families who lost their homes to both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program (KDHAP) only assisted Katrina evacuees.
"There are still families who desperately need housing," said HUD Assistant Secretary Orlando Cabrera, who heads HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing. "We are confident this funding and the changes to our original hurricane rental assistance program will help even more families find stable, more long-term housing solutions."
Families who were eligible for KDHAP - former public housing residents, Section 8 voucher holders and multifamily projects - are eligible for DVP through September 30, 2007 to provide housing anywhere in the U.S. Families who were homeless prior to Katrina or Rita are also eligible for this assistance. The more than 15,000 families who are registered under KDHAP have been transferred to DVP, without assistance interruption.
Families who fall into any of the categories above are urged to call (866) 373-9509. Operators at this call center will refer families to PHAs across the country. That PHA will assist the family in its search for available housing in the city the family selects. The DVP assistance will cover rent and utility costs at the local Fair Market Rent.
Families who qualify for DVP are no longer required to get a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) number. Instead local housing authorities will register and verify eligibility using existing HUD criteria. The additional funding allows HUD to waive the requirement for income and tenant contribution for up to 18 months. If a family's original housing becomes available prior to that time, under DVP the family is eligible to reoccupy that housing.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.