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Housing After a Disaster

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab

Legal Issues with Housing After Disasters

This resource helps a person who might encounter a legal issue with their housing after a disaster or in another emergency. This includes issues including owning and clearing title, rebuilding, and insuring a home, and also includes landlord-tenant and eviction issues. 

Building Contractors and Construction Problems

This category covers issues that a consumer might have with: 

(1) shoddy construction work,

(2) incomplete construction, or

(3) other issues with a contractor's work or representations about what work they would do. This could include fraud by the contractor.

Clearing Title to one's home

  • This category concerns how to prove one own's one's home, by getting a clear title to the property.
  • A title may not be clear if title was not formally transferred after the owner dies, or during a sale of the property.
  • This may be important after a natural disaster, when homeowners must be able to prove they own their home in order to access relief funds that would let them rebuild their home.

Eviction Issues

This category concerns issues that renters and landlords may face during a public health emergency, including: 

  • Dealing with special protections like eviction moratoriums,
  • Non-enforcement of eviction writs, and
  • Delayed rent.

It also concerns what issues may happen in the immediate wake of the state of emergency, including: 

  • Options for financial assistance,
  • Mediation,
  • Special courts,
  • Or other programs to address possible displacement.

FEMA Housing Assistance

This category covers how to apply for housing assistance from FEMA after a natural disaster. It covers who is eligible, what is needed to prove eligibility, and what kinds of assistance you can get to cover the cost of rent, home repairs, or access to government-provided housing.

Rebuilding and Reconstruction After a Disaster

This category concerns legal issues in rebuilding homes, business properties, and regional plans after a natural disaster. This includes dealing with building regulations and other utility and infrastructure issues. Issues in this category include property buy-outs, beach access, insurance policies, and different governments' rules.

Last Review and Update: Jun 27, 2022
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