Renters Can Apply for Federal Assistance

SACRAMENTO ‚Äď The FEMA¬†Individuals and Housing Program¬†is available to all eligible renters and homeowners in the counties of Butte, Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo, which are covered in the Aug. 22 federal disaster declaration. Federal monetary awards may help pay for temporary housing and other needs not covered by insurance. The initial rental award is for two months and may be reviewed for further assistance.

Renters may also qualify for an award under FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance Program for essential personal property and other disaster-related expenses. These may include replacement or repair of necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, textbooks or school supplies; replacement or repair of tools and other job-related equipment; vehicle repair; and medical/dental bills.

Anyone can register with FEMA:

  • Online, by visiting¬†www.disasterassistance.gov;
  • By downloading the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet; or
  • By calling the¬†FEMA Helpline at¬†800-621-3362¬†(TTY 800-462-7585). Multi-lingual operators are available. The toll-free lines are open¬†7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. PDT daily. Helpline operators are also available to answer questions about applications already submitted.

The registration process includes your providing a phone number so FEMA can contact you and set up a virtual home inspection. If you use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, you should provide FEMA your specific number assigned to that service.

To register online at disasterassistance.gov click the blue Apply Online button at the bottom of the page, then review the disaster survivor application checklist and complete an application to learn if you are eligible to receive disaster assistance.

After registering, you may stay on disasterassistance.gov to create a personal online disaster assistance account to stay in touch with FEMA. To create one:

  • Click the green Check Status button at bottom of disasterassistance.gov.
  • Click the blue Create Account button at bottom of page.
  • Enter your date of birth and Social Security number, which you provided previously when registering for assistance.
  • Answer four security questions that are generated from public record data to verify your identity.
  • Create a user ID and password.
  • Enter an email address. FEMA will send a temporary PIN to it within 24 hours. Follow the instructions in the email to finish creating your account.

For the latest information on wildfire recovery, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4558.

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All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA at SBA.gov/disaster.

Alyson Hanner

Alyson Hanner joined the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) in 2020 after working nearly 20 years in the broadcast news industry. Since joining Cal OES, she has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the historic 2020 wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, she served as managing editor at local television stations in San Diego and Sacramento.

One thought on “Renters Can Apply for Federal Assistance

  • October 17, 2020 at 4:14 pm
    Permalink

    Hello. Is there any update now regarding assistance in Happy Camp, CA, Siskiyou County, for the Slater Fire? Specifically, are renters assisted in any way, now that FEMA has recently (Oct 16?–the fire started on Oct 8) been approved there? Thanks.

    Reply

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