Louisiana family struggles to find Mississippi hotel that accepts FEMA lodging payment

Local

RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – A family of Hurricane Ida evacuees have run into a roadblock under a program that would have helped them pay for a place to stay in Mississippi.

The Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) under FEMA will cover the costs needed for temporary housing. Some disaster survivors said ran into a snag, and they’re left with few options.

Samantha Hasler said it’s been hard to find an eligible hotel that opted into the program. The family of five was under the impression that the hotel they were staying at was TSA eligible, but it was not.

Travis Hasler, Samantha’s husband, said, “There was a lot of misinformation early on about what this assistance program looked like.”

Samantha, Travis and their three children are going on their ninth day away from home. They are on their second hotel, among the thousands of Louisianians that have been displaced by Hurricane Ida.

Now the Hasler’s are watching hotel bills pile up, not knowing how their home is going to look like coming back.

“We can’t go down there with two six-year-olds and a newborn into a house that’s going to be 100+ degrees with no running water and no electricity,” said Travis.

Mississippi is among the states eligible to accept FEMA assistance.

“I feel very disappointed by the fact that FEMA is working so hard to get this available funding, and yet we can’t find anyone who is ready to accept it,” said Samantha.

The Drury Inn and Suites are among the list of eligible hotels under FEMA’s assistance program, along with Hilton Gardens, Extended Stay, Quality Inn & Suites, and Days Inn.

FEMA said to periodically check the list to make sure eligible hotels under the disaster assistance program are up to date.

Leaders with FEMA said they are providing money directly to survivors for:

  • Rapid financial assistance for critical, life-saving needs – Money for food, water, fuel for transportation, and prescription drugs
  • Expedited rental assistance money for people who had to evacuate to ANY hotel – or still need to relocate – because of the life-threatening power outages.

By law, FEMA is not allowed to duplicate insurance payments.

  • If your insurance company denies your claim, get it in writing.
  • Provide your insurance denial letter to FEMA.
  • FEMA will then consider you for Individual Assistance grant money.

After you register with FEMA, you will be notified if you qualify for temporary sheltering in a hotel at FEMA’s expense under the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program:

  • FEMA pays the hotels directly in this program.
  • If you qualify, FEMA will notify you by an automated phone call, text message, and email.
  • FEMA does not find a hotel room for you. If you are eligible, you must find and book your own hotel room.
  • The list of participating hotels is posted at DisasterAssistance.gov and at FEMAEvacHotels.com
  • To be eligible, the hotel must be located in the following states: Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
  • If you evacuated to a hotel, FEMA may be able to pay you directly, so please save your receipts – and tell us about your needs

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories