Renters in the 126 Texas designated counties* that the winter storm forced from their damaged homes may be eligible for help from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Federal monetary awards may help pay for temporary housing and other needs not covered by insurance.
FEMA’s Rental Assistance
Awards may be available to rent a different place to live for a limited time during repairs to your rental home. The initial rental award is for two months and possibly reviewed for further assistance. Rental grants could be for security deposits, rent, and the cost of essential utilities, such as gas and water. The gifts are not for separate cable or internet bills. The grants are not loans and require no payback. They are not taxable income and won’t affect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Replacement and Repair of Other Needs
FEMA also helps eligible survivors, including renters, with uninsured and underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the storms. Renters may also qualify for an award under FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance Program for essential personal property and other disaster-related expenses. These may include replacement or repair of necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, textbooks, or school supplies; replacement or repair of tools and
other job-related equipment, vehicle repair, and medical/dental bills.
Renters may register with FEMA in one of three ways:
• Online, by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov;
• By downloading the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet; or
• By calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available.
The toll-free lines are open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm CDT daily. Helpline operators are also available to answer questions about applications already submitted.
The registration process includes providing a phone number so FEMA can contact you and set up a virtual home inspection. If you use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption, or CapTel, you should provide FEMA your specific number assigned to that service.
FEMA Fact Sheet, April 1, 2021.
Learn more at fema.gov March 2021
To register online at DisasterAssistance.gov, click the blue Apply Online button at the bottom of the page, then review the disaster survivor application checklist and complete an application to learn if you are eligible to receive disaster assistance. After registering, you may stay on DisasterAssistance.gov to create a personal online disaster assistance account to keep in touch with FEMA. To create one:
• Click the green Check Status button at the bottom of DisasterAssistance.gov.
• Click the blue Create Account button at the bottom of the page.
• Enter your date of birth and Social Security number, which you provided when registering for assistance.
• Answer four security questions that are generated from public record data to verify your identity.
• Create a user ID and password.
• Enter an email address. FEMA will send a temporary PIN to it within 24 hours. Follow the instructions in the email to finish creating your account.
Renters who face eviction or have been evicted from their storm-damaged apartment complex, whether their unit had damage or not, could be eligible for disaster assistance. Renters who have already registered for federal aid and evicted after they reported damage to other parts of their complex should call the FEMA Helpline.
Renters may also qualify for long-term, low-interest loans of up to $40,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans could cover the cost of repairing or replacing essential storm-damaged
For information, visit SBA.gov/disaster, call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. To apply for an SBA loan, visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
* Designated counties:
Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Bosque, Bowie, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzalez, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Howard, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kleberg, Lavaca, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Llano, Lubbock, Medina, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wichita, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, and Wood.
FEMA Fact Sheet, April 1, 2021
Learn more at fema.gov March 2021
▪ For more information on the severe winter storms in Texas, visit fema.gov/disaster/4586. Follow the FEMA
Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.
▪ People whose first language is not English may find translations of this document in other languages by using
the following quick links on FEMA.gov: Arabic | Chinese | English | Hindi | Korean | Spanish | Tagalog | Urdu |