BATON ROUGE – The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will request a seventh extension on the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, along with stricter guidelines.
The state proposes a program end date of Aug. 13, 2017 – one year after the flood – to allow time to move all of the 529 families out of hotels in Louisiana and Mississippi.
The program would only Louisiana hotels and motels, unless the lodging site is within 50 miles of the survivor’s damaged address. It also proposes a freeze on newly eligible applicants.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the average nightly room has cost taxpayers $102.79. The total amount billed to FEMA for hotel/motel rooms in use since the August Flood now totals $39,421,008.13.
Reasons GHOSEP Director James B. Waskom listed in his request to FEMA include the lack of available rental resources in the impacted flood areas and the estimate time frame for repairs.
The extension request covers an estimated 800 applicants, and will not exceed 1,000 rooms per night, he said in the request.
“The TSA program continues to be the only interim housing option for many survivors as they work towards home repairs or search for more permanent rentals,” he said in the letter to William Doran, the Federal Coordinating Officer with FEMA’s Joint Field Office in Baton Rouge.
Waskom also said the state would work with transition teams to find suitable rental resources and solutions.