ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE CRA

  1. Initial rental assistance period has ended; 
  1. Adequate, alternative housing is not available; 
  1. The permanent housing plan has not been fulfilled through no fault of the applicant; and
  1. Applicant not owner of nontraditional housing (types of homes that are easily rebuilt, e.g. – tents, huts, tepees).

CRITERIA FOR CRA

  1. Applicant received initial rental assistance; 
  1. Applicant exhausted previous awarded rental assistance for its intended purpose; 
  1. Applicant is unable to return to their pre-disaster residence because it is uninhabitable, inaccessible, or not available due to disaster; 
  1. Applicant does not have the financial ability to obtain housing without assistance; AND 
  1. Applicant is not receiving assistance from any other source for temporary housing.  

APPLYING FOR CRA

Application Form (FEMA Form 010-0-12) 

This form is NOT available online and asks very specific questions. The applicant must date and sign the form prior to submission.

Does Client Need to Request Form? FEMA usually sends the form to all applicants receiving initial rental assistance. However, if for some reason FEMA failed to give the applicant the form, or the applicant loses the form, the applicant may request that a copy of the form be sent by mail either by calling the FEMA hotline or sending FEMA a written letter. 

PRACTICE TIP: Important to emphasize to client to keep their address up to date with FEMA because FEMA will send form to address on file. If wrong address on file, FEMA will not send form to any other address. 

What Additional Documents are Required? To be granted CRA, the applicant must submit more than an application. FEMA requires additional documents that must be submitted before the applicant can receive relief: 

  • Cover Letter 
    • Permanent Housing Plan 
    • Pre-disaster Housing 
    • Pre-disaster Income 
    • Temporary Housing 
      • Must state that applicant has used all initial rental assistance for temporary housing costs 
    • Current Income 
    • Signature of Applicant 
      • Can sign cover letter OR Declaration under penalty of perjury 
  • Pre-disaster and Current Housing Costs 
    • Mortgage statement or lease/ rental agreement  
    • Real estate tax or homeowner’s or renters’ insurance statement 
    • Essential utility bills from pre-disaster residence  
  • Pre-disaster and Current Income (Income of all working household members 18+) 
    • Paystubs (several) 
    • W-2s 
    • Tax Returns 
    • Documentation of Retirement or Self-employment 
    • Documentation of Government Assistance 
    • Child Support Orders/Garnishments or Deductions from Wages 
  • Recovery Strategy/Plan – written document explaining how applicant plans to get back to pre-disaster state 
  • Mortgage and Housing Related Payment Information 
  • Proof Applicant Spent Initial Rental Assistance 
    • Lease 
      • Can include security deposit
    • Receipts (Hotel and Essential Utilities) 
      • Must show date, location, and time period covered 
      • PRACTICE TIP: It is unclear if FEMA will accept utility payments as valid proof for initial rental assistance. Therefore, it is best to only use initial rental assistance for rent and the security deposit.  
  • Current Lease or Rental Agreement 
    • Location of the unit, amount of rent, duration of lease, and number of occupants 
    • Legible name and phone number for the landlord
      • PRACTICE TIP: Contact landlord and notify them that they will receive a call from FEMA verifying lease information  
    • Signature of both landlord and tenant  

CONTINUED RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROCESS

FILING CRA APPLICATION

How can the CRA Application be filed? Fax or Mail (best to use registered/certified tracking) 

What documents need to be filed to receive CRA? 

  • Fax Cover Sheet (if fax method is used) 
  • Cover Letter 
  • Application Form 
  • FEMA Authorization Form 
  • Applicant Picture I.D.  
  • All Other Supporting Documents  

FEMA will deny CRA if any of the requirements are missing! Volunteers will need to stay on top of clients to ensure that all required information is filed with FEMA to avoid delay .

REVIEW PROCESS FOR CRA APPLICATIONS

FEMA will review: 

  • Current monthly rent compared to the person’s housing costs pre-disaster 
  • Income for all household members 
  • Ongoing homeowner mortgage, insurance and utility costs for the damaged home 
  • Other housing commitments 
  • FEMA basically wants to determine why the applicant is still needing assistance 

Review Timeline:

  • Review process can last from one week to 30 days. Therefore, there may be a time lag between the process time and the date rent is due. Volunteer and client will need to plan ahead to determine how rent will be paid in case of time lag.

Subsequent Applications:

  • This is a much shorter process than initial CRA applications 
  • If no changes to client’s income or temporary housing costs: 
    • Only a letter needs to be sent to FEMA to request CRA 
    • Be sure to include language that there has been no changes to your client’s financial or housing situation  
  • If there have been changes to your client’s situation: 
    • A letter needs to be sent to FEMA requesting CRA with evidence of the change and additional supporting documents 
      • Household income 
      • Rent amount for temporary housing 
      • Documents or receipts showing that previous CRA was used appropriately  

Appeal Process for CRA 

  • An applicant for CRA can appeal: 
    • Denial 
    • Amount awarded 
      • This is usually difficult to appeal and has a low success rate 
  • Must appeal denial within 60 days of denial decision 
    • Appeal must be in writing  
    • FEMA will review written appeal and any supporting documents and provide either a written decision or request more information