If an individual owns a multi-family dwelling that needs repairs and is willing to lease to eligible Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hurricane survivors, he or she may be interested in the Multi-Family Lease and Repair Program (MLRP).
This FEMA program provides funds to make rental units habitable again, and at the same time, it helps survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
How it works: FEMA may have the property repaired using a third-party contractor or the owner may choose to complete the repairs using his own contractors once repairs and costs have been agreed upon. The repairs or improvements do not need to be hurricane- or flood-related. The value of the work will be deducted from the value of the lease agreement, but it may not exceed its total value.
To qualify for MLRP funds the owner’s property must meet certain criteria:
It must have three or more units to qualify as a multi-family dwelling. Each unit must provide independent living facilities for one or more people, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation.
It must have been previously used as a rental unit.
It must be located on St. Croix, St. John or St. Thomas (including Water Island).
The owner must be willing to have at least one unit repaired or improved to be accessible to applicants with disabilities or other access and functional needs.
In addition, the property must be accessible to community services like schools and grocery stores, and not be located in a flood-prone area. FEMA will require a lease of exclusive use of the property as temporary housing for a period of at least 18 months. The property owner must provide all property management services; repairs must comply with local building codes, standards, permitting, inspection requirements and other laws.
If a property owner interested in having a rental property considered for the program, contact the Multi-Family Lease and Repair Program by email at FEMA-USVI-MLR@fema.dhs.gov
Additional details are available on FEMA’s Virgin Islands Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands.com.