Florida renters facing eviction may be eligible for federal help

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Posted at 12:45 PM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 12:45:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Florida renters who face eviction or have been evicted from their homes may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA, whether your home was damaged or not. 

Officials say there are several ways to apply: 

  • Go online to 
  • Call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY) anytime from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
  • Visit a disaster recovery center. Survivors may visit any center to receive one-on-one help. To find a center, go to  

They say renters who already registered for federal assistance and were later evicted due to damage should take the eviction notice to a disaster recovery center. 

Displaced renters and home owners from Bay, Gulf and Jackson counties who need a safe place to stay while searching for longer-term housing may also be eligible for short-term sheltering stays paid by FEMA

Renters may be eligible for grants from FEMA to help with disaster-related expenses such as:

  • Renting a home when the renter’s previous one is unsafe due to the disaster, or his/her apartment complex is under repair.
  • Moving and storage fees.
  • Repair or replacement of vehicles damaged by the disaster.

Those who have HUD rental assistance may receive FEMA help to pay for a place to live until:

  • They relocate back to public housing.
  • They relocate back to the private housing that provides HUD assistance.
  • They sign a lease with a private property owner using a Section 8 voucher.

If you move back into a HUD-assisted residence or sign a new lease for a rental housing under the Section 8 program, HUD assistance resumes. At that point, you may no longer receive FEMA assistance.

The grants don't have to be repaid. Officials say they will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and several other programs. 

The president’s disaster declaration for Hurricane Michael designated 12 counties for individual assistance: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington.

Survivors who cannot afford an attorney may call the Florida Bar Disaster Hotline at (866) 550-2929. For more information, click here.