This is a summary of the Disaster Housing Assistance Program – Ike (DHAP- Ike). This is the second in a series of summaries intended to briefly describe a number of existing programs used to provide temporary and permanent housing to victims after a disaster. This is part of an effort to promote a new disaster housing reconstruction program that responds to the success and shortcomings of others.
Texas Grow Home calls upon the State of Texas to develop a disaster housing reconstruction program that uses federal disaster recovery dollars more efficiently and effectively. Although the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) does not provide funds for reconstruction of destroyed homes, it provides an excellent programmatic model to follow. DHAP is a program that funnels federal disaster recovery dollars for rental assistance into communities through local entities (Public Housing Authorities). DHAP is a community-based version FEMA’s Individual and Households Program (IHP), which among other things, provides rental assistance. DHAP is designed to supplement IHP rental assistance and has proven to be much more community friendly. What if FEMA could funnel some of its IHP reconstruction dollars through local entities?
Disaster Housing Assistance Program – Ike (DHAP-Ike) is a program to provide monthly rental assistance, case management services, security deposit and utility deposit assistance for families displaced from their homes by Hurricanes Ike or Gustav. DHAP-Ike has been modeled after the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) for families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. DHAP-Ike is an inter-agency agreement (IAA) between FEMA and HUD in which FEMA funds and HUD administers the program through its network of local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs)
Applicants whose homes are unlivable or were destroyed as a result of hurricane Ike are directed to register with FEMA. FEMA determines eligibility for DHAP-Ike under the guidelines of the Individual and Households Program (IHP). Those who receive letters from FEMA informing them of their eligibility are directed to call HUD’s Regional Call Center (RCC) to discuss their current housing needs. The RCC representative will direct the family to the appropriate PHA, which will assist the family with finding housing, if needed, and provide direct rental assistance to the landlord of the individual’s choice, and start case management.
Eligible renters and homeowners must fall into one of the following categories: (1) previously HUD-assisted families that cannot return to their HUD-assisted unit due to damage caused by the hurricane; (2) DHAP families displaced from their units; or (3) previously unassisted families and individuals referred to DHAP-Ike by FEMA.
Initially there are no income eligibility requirements for DHAP-Ike assistance. However, only families with housing costs that exceed 30 percent of the family’s monthly income are eligible for continued DHAP-Ike rental assistance and case management services after six months of assistance.
During the time that families are assisted by DHAP-Ike, each FEMA designated family Head of Household is required to participate in case management services. The objectives of these services are greater self-sufficiency and permanent housing for participating families. PHAs may choose to provide case management services in-house, through a contract or through a partnership with another local service provider.
Incremental Rent Transition
After approximately six months of receiving rent subsidies, families may be required to begin Incremental Rent Transition (IRT) in which they begin paying a portion of their rent or an increased portion of their rent. The first month’s portion will $50 and will increase by $50 each subsequent month until the family can pay the entire rent on their own.