This week, FEMA announced that over $559 million was provided to survivors in additional assistance as a result of a policy change which expanded acceptable forms of documents to prove home ownership and occupancy. Because of the policy update, more than 100,000 additional applicants have been able to get assistance as renters and owners.
In August 2021, under the leadership of FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, the agency implemented these policy changes to help simplify the disaster assistance process.
“FEMA understands that our policies have historically presented unintentional barriers for underserved communities seeking to access our programs. We took direct action to address this injustice and ensure our programs are more accessible to communities across the country,” said Administrator Criswell. “These changes have reduced red tape and unnecessary obstacles as we help more survivors jumpstart their recovery. As a result, we have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to people who would have previously been ineligible. That is progress, and that is how we become the FEMA our nation needs and deserve.”
As a result of this initiative, 11,600 more renters and owners who survived Hurricane Ian have received more than $140 million in assistance that they otherwise would not have been eligible to receive, and more than 20,000 renters and owners who survived Hurricane Fiona have received $44.7 million in assistance that they otherwise would not have received.