FEMA has updated its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) policy to make it easier for eligible disaster survivors to receive assistance by providing safe, temporary shelter after a major disaster.
When requested by the state and approved by FEMA, the TSA program provides temporary, short-term hotel stays for eligible survivors when other sheltering options are not available after a presidentially declared disaster. FEMA may authorize TSA under any of the following conditions:
- The current shelter capacity does not meet the sheltering needs of the displaced population.
- Congregate sheltering support resources are inadequate to sustain existing shelter needs.
- There is a need to return facilities serving as congregate shelters to their pre-disaster use.
- Rental resources are not sufficiently available and/or priced within fair market rent standards to meet the needs of the displaced population within the affected area.
This final policy contains key updates, including:
- People staying in tents when they apply for FEMA assistance may now be eligible for TSA.
- FEMA will clearly communicate information about this assistance to eligible survivors in a simple, effective and timely manner. This communication will be accessible for people with disabilities, limited English proficiency and low literacy.
- FEMA will ensure people with disabilities have equal access to its services and programs, which may include taking appropriate steps to ensure effective communication and complying with applicable physical accessibility requirements, such as those identified under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act.
- FEMA will conduct continued eligibility reviews throughout the TSA activation. Generally, the first eligibility review will be conducted 14 days from the date of TSA activation to allow timely registrant notification.
To be considered for TSA, survivors must have a valid application number with FEMA and currently be in emergency shelter locations because of the disaster. FEMA will notify those who are eligible for this assistance, which is one reason it is so important for survivors to make sure FEMA knows their current circumstances.
If deemed eligible for TSA, survivors can access a list of participating lodging establishments, where they may find an available room(s). Lodging establishments will bill FEMA directly for the cost of the approved rooms.
Applicants with disabilities or who have access and functional needs should check with hotels to ensure appropriate accommodations are available before confirming a room. Those with pets must check to see if pets are accepted. Applicants must show photo identification and adhere to any hotel check-in requirements.
The TSA program is initially authorized for 30 days. It may last up to 180 days, if requested by the state, tribe or territory and approved by FEMA.