Hurricane Harvey has caused unprecedented and catastrophic damage and
along the Texas coast, with 29 counties covered under FEMA's Texas Hurricane Harvey Major Disaster Declaration (
SHCC and HUD have been working to collect damage and displacement assessments, and while we are pleased to report that thus far none of our properties have reported any injuries or deaths, we are saddened to report that nearly 2,000 households have been displaced due to their unit being rendered uninhabitable.
Many of you have reached out to SHCC asking for guidance on how to proceed and what steps to take. The best place to find this guidance is in
HUD Housing Handbook 4350.1
Chapter 38: Multifamily Emergency/Disaster Guidance
. Chapter 38 includes information on HUD, Owner/Agent, and Resident responsibilities. For example:
Owner/Agents that have tenant displacement must:
- track displaced residents, and maintain updated contact information, throughout the entire timeframe each resident is displaced
- keep displaced residents updated regarding owner/agent contact information, especially if the office has been damaged and is not in use
- update residents regarding the progress of repairs and when they might be able to re-occupy their unit (displaced residents have a right to return to their unit once it is repaired)
- prepare a recovery plan and communicate regularly with HUD regarding progress made and milestones reached
Owner/Agents that did not sustain damage:
- If the property has a displacement preference, the owner/agent must move displaced applicants to the top of the waiting list for temporary or permanent rental housing. The applicant will need to provide their FEMA certification of eligibility.
- HUD encourages owner/agents to allow current residents to house displaced persons as guests, for a limited period (e.g., 90 days), without interruption/adjustment of the subsidy.
- Owner/agents are also encouraged to allow community space, kitchens, restrooms and other facilities to be used as shelters or disaster recovery-related activities.
Residents that are displaced are responsible for:
- keeping the owner/agent informed of their contact information, temporary housing location, and their intentions for returning after their unit is repaired.
- contacting FEMA to submit an application for assistance, including temporary rental housing.
The above is just a small portion of the detailed information outlined in Chapter 38. We encourage you to review the Chapter in full, and to contact SHCC or HUD if you have questions.
Additional disaster resources: