Sunday, June 23, 2024

Time’s up: More than 200 households still sheltering in hotels post Florence, but federal funding is about to run out

FEMA is shutting down its Brunswick County disaster recovery center.(Port City Daily photo / File)
FEMA funding for households displaced due to Florence and currently residing in hotels is about to expire on March 12 .(Port City Daily photo / File)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Hurricane Florence might have been more than five months ago, but at least 225 households in North Carolina are still checked into hotels through the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program — but funding for that program is about to expire.

“To date, 871 households have sheltered in TSA participating hotels, 646 have found suitable, longer-term housing and moved on with their recovery. As of Feb. 24, 225 households remain checked in to hotels. TSA is a sheltering option to help fill a gap until survivors identify housing solutions. It is available in the following counties: Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson. FEMA pays hotels directly for the cost of the room and taxes,” according to a press release.

The cost of the program to date has been more than $5 million — with FEMA paying 75 percent of that and the state picking up the remaining 25 percent.

On March 12, TSA funding will cease and households still displaced will be required to find a new suitable housing situation.

“Survivors in TSA are strongly encouraged to maintain contact with Disaster Case Management, the state, voluntary agencies, local organizations, long-term recovery groups and other partners to find suitable housing before March 12. FEMA, the state and their partners have helped people living in TSA hotels create their own housing plan, suggested housing resources, and notified survivors of their check out date. For more information, they should contact their case advisor or call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362,” according to the release.


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