Shelter and a safe place to rest and recharge are among our most basic needs. When your home or apartment is jeopardized due to a natural disaster, divorce separation, global health pandemic, or a multitude of other reasons that leave you facing homelessness overnight, temporary housing is your lifesaver. It is challenging to know where to look, especially considering the unanticipated nature and speed at which a crisis hits.
In the event that you find yourself having to unexpectedly find a new home, let us help.
Here are a few tips to get you back on your feet.
What options do you have for temporary housing?
Depending on the severity of the disaster that has occurred, several government agencies may get involved in the relief efforts. If your local jurisdiction does not have the proper resources to respond to a disaster, your state emergency management agency may jump into action.
In the case that your particular area experiences a major flood, superstorm, wildfire, or earthquake, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will likely respond as it has an expansive number of resources to help people who have been affected by natural disasters. Through FEMA, disaster victims have access to interim housing options.
They are available from the day after the disaster is declared, for a total period of 18 months.
However, it is best not to solely depend on government agencies for shelter after a disaster occurs, especially in the long term. The housing that government agencies offer is most likely group shelters.
Fortunately, though, there are numerous non-profit organizations that provide immediate and long-term disaster relief.
Non-governmental disaster relief organizations
A large enough disaster in your area could bring in local, regional, or national relief organizations such as the AmericanRed Cross and the Salvation Army. These will help with food, water, first aid, temporary shelter, and other necessities.
Again, any housing typically will be a temporary group shelter. This will provide basic security and safety until more permanent housing can be found.
The plus side is that most organizations provide both emergency shelters as well as transitional housing programs. The difference between the two is that the former provides a warm, safe place for men, women, and families to stay. The latter offers homeless individuals food and lodging while equipping them with the resources and support needed to regain stability.
Although such easy-access options are available, relief services and resources are limited. This means the search for temporary housing may still be up to you.
Insurance companies and short-term housing
If you have a good homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, there is a provision in there that allocates funds for temporary housing. This is in the event of a fire or natural disaster. You can find this provision under a “loss of use” coverage clause or even “additional expenses”. It will reimburse you for your additional living expenses.
Such expenses are those that exceed your usual spending.This sort of coverage should be available if damage covered under your insurance policy has made your home uninhabitable.
Or if law enforcement or government agency has ordered you to evacuate. You have the right to request an advance on those expenses from your insurer.
Many insurance companies assume that “temporary housing” means putting your family up in a hotel while repairs are made to your home.
However, in the case that you can’t move back home for months, your insurance company can cover temporary furnished corporate housing. It’s extremely important to read the fine print of your policy before a disaster strikes.
This is so that you can find out what disasters are covered. Note that if you live in a flood-prone area then flood disasters are probably not included. Checking this information beforehand will prevent you from coming across any surprises in the event of a disaster.
Assemble documentation the landlord will need
Once you’ve established that your insurance policy includes adequate “loss of use” coverage, there are a few documents you will need:
Credit report: bring a copy of your credit report to show that you’re financially stable enough that you won’t use the insurance money for other expenditures
Proof of employment: landlords want to know if you make enough money to pay rent (usually three times the rent). Ask your employer for a letter that states your employment status and salary. It also helps to include some information on your positive qualities as an employee
Proof of income: if you’re self-employed, you can use a copy of your previous tax returns to prove that you make sufficient income. However, if you have a home-based business, you may be required to provide further explanation on how you’ll continue to work
Proof of support from your insurance company: ask your agent to write a letter that confirms that you are a displaced homeowner. Ensure that the letter includes a statement affirming that your coverage will include rent reimbursement
Temporary housing near you
If you’re looking for a comfortable and convenient temporary housing option then Blueground might be the fix for you. There is a wide selection of fully-furnished apartments to choose from that are located in the best neighborhoods of the world’s most sought-after cities.
For example, when it comes to temporary housing in NYC, you’ll have a choice, from cozy studios to spacious two-bedrooms fit for a family.
Best of all, you can book them online quickly without needing to arrange an in-person visit.
All in all, a selection of their ready-to-go apartments has virtual tours and video tours available for you to remotely “walk through” your temporary housing. You’ll find everything that you need to feel at home waiting for you on move-in day — including activated utilities, all housewares stored away, and contactless guest support available by app!