Skip to Main Content

Homes and Community Renewal

2005-B-14: HUD's Hurricane Katrina Victim Priority

To: All Federally Assisted Housing Companies
     Owners, Managing Agents and Site Managers

From: Jane I. Berrie, Director Housing Management Bureau

Date: November 15, 2005

Subject: HUD's Hurricane Katrina Victim Priority

The attached memorandum* - issued on October 28, 2005 - provides HUD's updated response to questions related to "Presidentially-Declared Disasters". This guidance is based on the general guidance found in Notice H 04-22, "Disaster Recovery Guidance by Multifamily Housing after a Presidentially-Declared Disaster", issued on November 10, 2004.

Hurricane Katrina victim priority should be based upon a FEMA application number, or documentation that the applicant lived in the declared county at the time of the disaster, such as a picture ID with address, utility bills, or credit agency address verification. The listing of declared counties can be found at

In an effort to identify housing resources for Hurricane Katrina disaster victims, HUD has established a website where the owners and managing agents of federally assisted developments can post vacant unit information. The web site is When you access the site, you will be asked for your EIN number, which should bring up project specific information for your development, and where you will be able to provide current information on vacant apartments. This site provides you with the flexibility to add and/or remove unit availability at any time.

In accordance with DHCR procedures, Federally assisted developments should be recording the applications of hurricane victims in the Automated Waiting List (or in their manual logs) noting the priority, and submitting the required documents to DHCR for approval. The Hurricane victims can choose to be housed on a permanent or a temporary basis. If they choose temporary housing, which may be from 2 weeks to 18 months, all of the following apply:

  1. HUD has waived all eligibility requirements, including income and occupancy, and DHCR occupancy requirements may likewise be waived in this situation.

  2. Applicants accepted into temporary housing will pay the last approved fair market rent for the county in which the housing development is located. The applicable 2006 Fair Market rents can be found at

  3. Owners of assisted properties are required by both statute and regulation to exclude persons who have engaged in specific crimes. Criminal background checks and sex offender registration checks should be completed on disaster displaced applicants for temporary housing, or those requesting to "double up" with a friend, or relative, who is a current resident.

  4. HUD recommends that applicants housed on a temporary basis sign a 30-day renewable lease. The lease should have a provision which states that the lease terminates when the resident's permanent housing unit becomes available or when FEMA no longer certifies a resident's FEMA eligibility.

If an applicant chooses permanent housing, the normal eligibility requirements apply, including income and occupancy standards, even though standard documentation may not be readily available.

If you should have any questions or concerns, please e-mail Linda Kedzierski at

-Jane I. Berrie

* Please see the PDF version of Management Bureau Memorandum 2005-B-14 to view the HUD memorandum.

Last updated on 06/01/10