Transitional Shelter Assistance benefits help the displaced

Transitional Shelter Assistance benefits help the displaced

Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) benefits, which provide short-term lodging assistance for evacuees who are impacted by a declared disaster, are available to Jefferson, Hardin, and Orange county residents whose homes were damaged by Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey. TSA benefits, sponsored by FEMA, are not a guarantee of hotel room availability, though, FEMA media liaison Ken Higginbotham told The Examiner.

Although FEMA has tentative agreements to house disaster survivors in need of assistance, hotel owners may choose to discontinue housing evacuees at their own discretion as the provision supplied by the hotelier is “strictly on a voluntary basis,” Higginbotham said, before adding, “These hotels don’t have to accept this program at all.”

The federal government will still honor TSA benefit claims, however, even if a claimant needs to move to multiple locations. If a claimant receiving TSA benefits needs to change locations, FEMA will cover the cost of the new room provided from an approved vendor as per the TSA benefits awarded.

“Unfortunately, the occupants are at the will and pleasure of the hotel,” Higginbotham said.

A list of FEMA-approved hotels can be found at online at disasterassistance.gov or through the FEMA help line at (800) 621-FEMA (3362).

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