St. Charles Herald-Guide

Got rentals? FEMA will help you find good tenants ... and it won’t cost you a dime

Staff Report - February 21, 2007

Got a house or apartment for rent? State and federal authorities will help you find a tenant - fast.

"Anyone with rental property, an empty apartment or a home they want to rent in the disaster-declared parishes should call us today,” said George Smith, Individual Assistance section chief at the Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office.

“This is a great opportunity for a company or individual to advertise their property and connect with potential renters.”

The search for renters has been spearheaded by FEMA to help disaster victims move out of FEMA-provided temporary housing or return home from other states.

More than 362,000 people were displaced by both hurricanes Katrina and Rita and forced to find alternate housing. While thousands evacuated across the nation, many more moved into the 88,417 travel trailers and mobile homes FEMA provided for Louisiana citizens.

As of Feb. 7, 2007, there were 61,174 temporary housing units (travel trailers and mobile homes) still occupied. Approximately 1,000 units per week are being returned to FEMA.

FEMA is asking anyone with rental property that could be made available to disaster victims to call the FEMA Rental Resources Department, 1-504-762-2427, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Providing this information does not assure the property will be rented but does expand the options available to those in need of housing. The RRD is designed to provide information and connect prior residents to potential rental resources. Anyone with Internet access can search property listings. RRD will also refer potential renters to properties based on individual preferences.