Individual Assistance Programs

Individual Assistance (IA) helps families, individuals, or owners of small businesses recover from the effects of a disaster.  After a presidentially declared disaster, the Individuals and Households Program is made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Texas.  The US Small Business Administration (SBA) also offers assistance after a disaster.  The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) offers its HOME Program to communities that do not receive their HOME funds directly from the federal government.

Individuals and Households Program (IHP)
A combined FEMA and State program that provides money to help people in the presidentially declared disaster area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance.  The IHP is divided into two parts - Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance.  Total IHP maximum amount to any individual for FY2011 is $30,200.  This amount will be adjusted annually (October 1) according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

  1. Housing Assistance– Disaster related housing assistance for applicants displaced from their pre-disaster primary residences and/or whose pre-disaster residences are rendered uninhabitable, and who are under-insured or have no insurance to provide for their housing needs.
    1. Temporary Housing – financial assistance for lodging expenses, rental assistance or direct assistance through mobile homes or travel trailers.
    2. Repairs - Provides financial assistance for repairs to make residence habitable – limited funding
  2. Other Needs Assistance - Money to repair or replace damaged personal property, or to pay for disaster-related necessary expenses or serious needs.

Housing Needs: Money to repair your home is limited to making your home safe and sanitary so you can live there. IHP will not pay to return your home to its condition before the disaster. You may use your money provided for housing needs to repair:

Other Needs: Money to repair damaged personal property or to pay for disaster‐related necessary expenses and serious needs is limited to items or services that help prevent or overcome a disaster‐related hardship, injury or adverse condition. IHP will not pay to return or replace your personal property to its condition before the disaster. You may use your money provided for other than housing needs to repair or pay for:

For more detailed information on FEMA assistance, visit FEMA’s Web site.

SBA Assistance
SBA offers low-interest federal disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by the disaster or for economic injury for small businesses.  This assistance is automatic with a presidentially declared disaster.  When a disaster does not warrant a presidential declaration, SBA may designate eligible counties for an Agency Only declaration.  This happens when a county has 25 or more homes and/or businesses with a 40% or more uninsured or underinsured loss.  This assistance would then also be available to the contiguous counties.

For more detailed information on SBA assistance, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s page on Disaster Loans.

The HOME Program
When a county doesn’t meet the threshold of damage to qualify for a presidentially declared disaster or for an agency only SBA designation, the TDHCA makes available de-obligated HOME funds for disaster relief to local entities such as cities and counties or their designated nonprofits in Texas (that are non-Participating Jurisdictions) for distribution to individuals directly affected by the disaster.  A Participating Jurisdiction receives HOME funds directly from the federal government and, therefore, would be ineligible.

The program is designed to assist with home repair, rehabilitation, reconstruction, homebuyer assistance and tenant-based rental assistance of homes affected by a disaster. Assisted homeowners must have earnings at or below 80% of the Area Median Family Income, as defined by HUD, must occupy the property as their principal residence and must have been directly affected by the disaster.  Sometimes, a home may not be repairable.  In those instances, a home may be demolished and replaced by a “stick-built” or a manufactured home.

For more detailed information on TDHCA assistance, visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs HOME Disaster Relief page.