Temporary shelter program ends soon

Published 10:21 pm Sunday, December 4, 2016

Out of the 106 Beaufort County claims filed with the National Flood Insurance Program after Hurricane Matthew, 44 have been closed with payments, according to figures provided by Nate Custer, a Federal Emergency Management Agency media specialist.

Those 44 payments total $482,527.09, according to data supplied by Custer. There are 62 claims pending.

In Hyde County, 78 claims were filed, with 19 claims closed. The total payment for those 19 claims is $289,471.66. There are 56 pending claims.

Meanwhile, victims of Hurricane Matthew and subsequent flooding that moved to a hotel for temporary shelter have until Jan. 7, 2017, to find more permanent housing.

Those victims receiving assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through its transitional sheltering assistance program should develop or solidify a plan to move from temporary accommodations to permanent housing.

FEMA suggests the following two ways to search for permanent housing:

• NCHousingSearch.org helps people displaced by Hurricane Matthew locate available, affordable rental housing. This free service can be accessed online 24 hours a day and through a toll-free, bilingual call center, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., at 877-428-8844.

• The FEMA Housing Portal (https://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htm) is intended to help individuals and families who have been displaced by a disaster find a place to live. The portal consolidates rental resources identified and provided by federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Veterans Administration, private organizations, and the public to help individuals and families find available rental units in their area.

For people who lived in public housing or a multi-family Section 8 apartment or had a housing choice voucher before Hurricane Matthew, they could be eligible for disaster assistance from U.S. Housing and Urban Development. They should contact the housing provider that assisted them before the disaster and contact HUD at 336-851-8058 or email at hudhelpingu@hud.gov. Anyone needing homeowner information and assistance from HUD regarding foreclosure or questions about the next steps with his home should contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency by calling 800-569- 4287. You do not have to have a FHA loan to meet with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, and there is never a fee for foreclosure prevention counseling.

Homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered losses or damages caused by Matthew should call 1-800-621-3362 to register for assistance or go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov and register by downloading FEMA’s mobile app, according to a news release. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, the number is also 1-800-621-3362. For people using TTY, the number is 1-800-462-7585. These toll-free numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Operators are ready to assist people in multiple languages.

The deadline to register is Jan. 9, 2017.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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