Sarasota and Hardee counties are NOW approved for Ian federal direct housing assistance from FEMA
Residents in Sarasota and Hardee counties have been approved for temporary direct housing assistance from FEMA after initially being left out of the program.
The federal program is providing trailers and manufactured housing and other direct housing options to people whose homes are uninhabitable from Hurricane Ian.
FEMA and state officials announced last week that residents of Collier, Lee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties had been approved for the program. A later news release from FEMA on Saturday said that Sarasota and Hardee counties had been added.
Sarasota residents could already apply for a FEMA program that provided "rental assistance, hotel stays, home repair assistance and temporary lodging reimbursement to eligible applicants," according to a FEMA news release.
This additional federal program was determined to be needed in those six counties because "rental assistance is insufficient to meet the housing need" because of a lack of available housing resources.
"Direct temporary housing takes significant time to implement and is not an immediate solution for a survivor's interim and longer-term housing needs," FEMA said in a news release. "Additionally, not everyone impacted by the disaster will be eligible for direct housing."
Both rental assistance and temporary direct housing assistance can be provided by FEMA to Ian disaster victims until March 28, 2024, according to the FEMA news release.
To apply for either rental assistance or the direct temporary housing program go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA app for smartphones or call 800-621-3362.