Program will reimburse eligible applicants for relocation expenses up to $4,000

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has anounced a reimbursement program that will provide relocation assistance to disaster victims displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The damage and destruction caused by the hurricanes resulted in many Gulf Coast residents temporarily relocating to various locations around the country. FEMA said there are currently Katrina/Rita households in all but one of the states, including 800 in Arkansas, 875 in Tennessee, 880 in Georgia, 225 in Colorado and 160 in California.

The program will reimburse eligible applicants for relocation expenses up to $4,000 that have been or will be incurred between Aug. 29, 2005, and Feb. 29, 2008, for Katrina, or Sept. 24, 2005, to Feb. 29, 2008, for Rita. Funding for relocation expenses must be available to applicants within the FEMA Individuals and Households Program cap and they must not have received funds from any other state, federal or voluntary agency subsidized travel-home program.

Those applicants returning to their pre-disaster states must relocate to housing that is not provided by FEMA and is not a hotel or motel. For those families that are already living in their pre-disaster state in FEMA travel trailers or mobile homes, FEMA will pay moving expenses to a FEMA-funded rental resource anywhere in the continental United States. However, FEMA will pay for an in-state move only if the new location is greater than 50 miles from applicants' current location in the state.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must have been displaced from their primary residence in a disaster-declared area as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and have incurred or will incur relocation travel expenses within the defined period.