FEMA has approved two direct housing programs for Maui County survivors. For each program, FEMA will work with property management companies that act on behalf of the government and contract with property owners of rental units. The units are offered to survivors for up to 18 months. Maui County, the State of Hawaii, FEMA and the private sector are seeking owners of rental units suitable for families and individuals for either program, as follows:
Direct Lease: FEMA leases existing, ready-to-occupy residential properties for use as temporary housing. Eligible properties may include single-family homes, multi-family homes, apartments, cooperatives, condominiums and townhouses. This is a great alternative for landlords where FEMA will pay the lease for 12-24 months. FEMA subcontractor Lima Charlie Inc. promises that they can get you housing a displaced family in 1-3 weeks. FEMA chooses the family that you house. FEMA Direct Lease with Lima Charlie Inc.
Multi-family Lease and Repair: FEMA contracts with property owners of multi-family (3+) dwelling units to make repairs or improvements in exchange for their temporarily housing eligible applicants.
For assistance, please call 808-784-1602 or 202-710-0493 or speak with FEMA staff directly at the Disaster Recovery Center at the Lahaina Civic Center. Translation assistance available for non-English speakers.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What conditions do properties need to meet?
All property management companies must register at SAM.gov, a free site where these entities can apply to do business with the U.S. government.
Companies must lease the vacant units exclusively to FEMA for use as temporary housing for eligible survivors for a term expiring no earlier than 18 months, with the possibility of contract extension.
Properties must be within the Maui wildfire disaster area or within a reasonable commuting distance of the area approved for direct housing.
Each property must comply with Housing Quality Standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and all utilities, appliances and other furnishings must be functional.
Each individual unit must provide complete living facilities, including provisions for cooking, eating and sanitation within the unit.
The properties must have reasonable access to community and wraparound services, such as accessible public transportation, schools, fire and emergency services, and grocery stores.
Property owner must be current with all mortgage payments, if applicable.
Those interested in leasing units to FEMA for the Direct Lease program, are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-499-6069.
FEMA awarded contracts to three property management companies to handle negotiations between owners of the ready-to-occupy properties and FEMA. Property owners may choose one of these management companies to lease their units. Eligible survivors are then matched to a suitable unit for up to 24 months.
FEMA will provide a security deposit. The federal agency will conduct a home inspection before a tenant moves in and after the unit is vacated. FEMA also pays all utility costs, including required fees to a Homeowners Association, and any property damage.
How does FEMA’s Direct Lease program work?
FEMA leases existing, ready-to-occupy residential properties for use as temporary housing for families displaced by the fires. Eligible properties may include single-family homes, multi-family homes, apartments, cooperatives, condominiums and townhouses. Property owners, not the tenants, enter into contract with FEMA’s property management company.
The Direct Lease program is different from the FEMA Rental Assistance program, which pays rent to survivors for units at a maximum of 175% of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development fair market rent.
Direct Lease is also different from Non-Congregate Sheltering, a program managed by the American Red Cross which houses survivors temporarily in hotels until they can move into suitable longer-term housing. That sheltering program is set to expire Feb. 10, 2024.
What are the requirements of the Direct Lease Program?
Property management companies/owners must lease the vacant units exclusively to FEMA for use as temporary housing for eligible survivors for 12 months, with the possibility of two additional six-month contract extensions, totaling 24 months.
Properties must be located within 40 miles of Lahaina.
Each property must comply with HUD-established Housing Quality Standards, and all utilities, appliances and other furnishings must be functional. Each individual unit must be equipped with bathroom facilities and kitchen amenities, including dishware and utensils.
What should I expect from FEMA?
FEMA will provide a security deposit, write the contract, conduct home inspections before move-in and after move-out, and assume responsibility for relocating tenants at the conclusion of the lease.
FEMA will honor your existing property policies (i.e., pets), and not jeopardize your ability to return to the short-term rental market at the conclusion of the contract.
As a participant in the program, FEMA will pay all utility costs (including fees to the Homeowners Association) and cover property damage.
How do property management companies learn more about FEMA’s Direct Lease program?
For Lahaina & Kula residents impacted by the fires
Talk Story with Mayor Bissen
Lahaina and Kula residents who have been impacted by the August fires are invited to talk story with Mayor Richard Bissen. There are several dates to choose from. Each talk story session will welcome up to 30 residents to give folks a chance to share mana‘o and ask questions. Series of events from December 9 through January 27.
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