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Emergency Housing Assistance

Emergency Housing Assistance
For Persons Affected by a Natural Disaster
 

  1. Purpose:  VA emergency housing assistance seeks to help Veterans, Service members, their families, and survivors, VA employees, and others displaced from their primary dwelling following a FEMA-declared natural disaster.  This assistance offers available VA-owned properties to displaced persons as a temporary rental property for a specified amount of time.
  2. Eligibility:  In the event of a FEMA-declared natural disaster, persons affected should immediately contact FEMA and begin the disaster application process online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling (800) 621-3362.  VA will need to establish their eligibility to be considered for the program.
    • Veterans/Servicemembers/Families/Survivors:  VSOs, VAMCs, VAROs, or other VA external stakeholders will refer potentially eligible Veterans to Scott Hiatt (scott.hiatt@va.gov).  Mr. Hiatt will submit all referrals to Vendor Resource Management’s (VRM) Property Management Coordinator, Chris Franklin (cfranklin@vrmco.com). VRM’s POC will contact the Veteran, gather information, and confirm they are a certified disaster victim with POC at FEMA (Jennie Gallardy-Orenstwein - Jennie.Gallardy@fema.dhs.gov ).  Once a Veteran has been FEMA certified, the VRM POC will then verify their Veteran status by referring them names to Marion Rabelais at the Atlanta VA Eligibility Center.
    • VA Employees:  VA station directors (VAMCs, VAROs, etc.) will submit names of eligible employees to the VA Watch Officer in the VA IOC (vaioc@va.gov), and the IOC will then forward to the Loan Guaranty Service (LGY) POC (Scott Hiatt- Scott.Hiatt@va.gov) for action.  LGY will have the VRM POC contact the employee directly.
    • Other Persons:  Other persons affected will go directly to FEMA.  LGY will provide FEMA with a list of properties that are currently available to disaster survivors. Once FEMA certifies them, they will send them to the VRM POC with their FEMA eligibility letter and the address of the property they are interested in.
  3. Rental Process once Eligibility Verified:
    • VRM POC will contact the displaced individuals and complete a tenant questionnaire.  This questionnaire determines the needs of the tenant (i.e. bedrooms, bathrooms, special needs, location, etc.)
    • VRM POC will identify available habitable properties that match the questionnaire criteria, and send information and links to the properties.
    • VRM POC will then arrange appointments with displaced employees who will view potential rental options with the local property manager.
    • If the individual agrees to rent a property, the local property manager and VRM POC will remove the property from the market and work together with the individual to ensure the following items are completed:
    1. VRM POC will ensure that each property has a refrigerator and a range-oven.
    2. The property manager will confirm that all utilities are placed in renter’s name.
    3. The property manager and the tenant will sign asix-month lease for $xxx dollars a month. The first month’s rent will be pro-rated based upon the move-in date.  Upon request by the occupant, VA will consider a month-to-month lease at the end of the original six-month period under the same terms. However, the occupant will need to provide evidence that they are actively pursuing alternate housing.  The month to month lease will be limited to three months unless the individual indicates that there is an urgent need. The lease shall not exceed a total of 18 months from lease origination.  Any additional lease will be at full fair market rent and only with the approval of the Director, Loan Guaranty Service.
    4. The property manager will complete a move-in inspection with photos.
    5. The property manager will verify proof of renter’s insurance from the tenant.
    6. The property manager will handle all renter inquiries, such as plumbing repairs, appliance repairs, etc.
  4. Escalation Process:  In a situation where the VRM POC has been unable to supply an acceptable response to a question, please contact Scott Hiatt, at 202.632.8894 or email scott.hiatt@va.gov.
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