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For the first time ever, homeless victims of hurricanes will be eligible for federal aid

For the first time ever, homeless victims of hurricanes will be eligible for federal aid

For the first time ever, homeless victims of hurricanes will be eligible for federal aid

Generally, when a major hurricane strikes, people who were homeless before the storm do not qualify for as much assistance afterward.

“Most federal programs … benefit landlords, renters, business owners,” said Isabella Alcaniz, who researches climate change and inequality at the University of Maryland. “So the non-domestic population, which is at incredibly high risk of feeling the brunt of natural disasters, is typically not part of the millions and even billions of dollars we need to get people back on their feet. Let’s look at helping you get it.”

As recovery efforts from Hurricane Ian begin to take shape, that’s about to change. For the first time since a major disaster, federal funding will be available to help people who were left homeless before the storm.

Department Housing and Urban Development contributed approximately $7 million . has announced To help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the communities affected by Hurricane Ian.

“They will be able to get that rental assistance as well as rental assistance and ancillary services,” said Ann Oliva, CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

“And that rental assistance can be used for up to two years… it is a big deal, it is a game changer in how communities respond to the needs of people experiencing homelessness and housing instability after a natural disaster. can give,” she said.

Often, after hurricanes and other disasters like wildfires, “what we see is a worsening of the pre-existing housing crisis in these areas,” said Noah Patton with the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Because you’re not only knocking rental housing offline, but you’re also knocking offline owners occupied homes.”

Which makes it more difficult than ever for people with very low incomes – or no income – to find a place to live.

Gladys Cooke at the non-profit Florida Housing Coalition said support for people in precarious circumstances after a devastating hurricane, such as Ian, is especially important.

“Systems are stressed… People who were living outside can’t… People who were living in their vehicles may have lost one of their vehicles. So it adds a lot of stress to the situation.” , “He said.

Cook said the amount announced so far won’t be enough to help nearly everyone, but it will be a good start.

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