Lack of housing can lead to permanent relocation of large numbers of people (just as affected communities are trying to rebuild their economies, their workers and consumers may not be able to return home due to a lack of housing options).
Solutions to this issue must take into account infrastructure needs, population densities, special needs requirements, cultural sensitivities, and potential dispersion of residents over great distances.
American Red Cross and local governmental or voluntary organizations may use hotel or motel rooms to temporarily shelter the survivors. These short-term stays provide time for the arrangement of more appropriate housing venues.
Federal assistance often does not come early in this cycle, if at all (while on average there have been about 50 disaster declarations per year, in many instances, federal help is neither requested nor granted.
Under Section 408, the most common form of aid is financial assistance. This help, available to both homeowners and renters who have lost their primary residence, is used by survivors to rent temporary replacement housing while their homes are repaired and while they are pursuing employment that will allow them to resume their own rent payments.
Agency officials record the address of the residence, either the home or the rental unit, and then dispatch a contract housing inspector to meet with the victim. The purpose of this meeting is to verify the reported damage and to gather information on the habitability of the home.
Assess capabilities and available resources to provide sheltering, interim housing and permanent housing
Engage local housing authorities and voluntary agencies in disaster housing planning
Assess availability of housing resources to meet unique needs of citizenry (disabled, elderly, low-income, undocumented residents, ethnic groups with language barriers, group/foster homes, homeless residents)