How to Document Ownership and Occupancy for FEMA | New

As part of the disaster assistance process, FEMA must determine ownership and occupancy of damaged primary residences. The agency has taken steps to make it easier for survivors of the disaster to verify ownership and occupancy.

Homeowners and tenants in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties who suffered losses from the Eastern Kentucky flooding must be able to prove that they occupied the principal residence damaged by the disaster before receiving housing assistance and certain types of assistance for other needs. FEMA now accepts a wider range of documents:


• Owners can provide official documents such as:

• The original deed or trust deed relating to the property

• A mortgage statement or escrow analysis

• Property insurance; home or flood insurance

• Receipts for major repairs within the last five years

• Property tax receipt or property tax bill

• Certificate or prefabricated house title

Additionally, FEMA will accept a letter or receipts from a public official for major repairs or improvements. The statement from the public official (e.g., chief of police, mayor, postmaster) must include the name of the claimant, the address of the residence affected, the period of occupancy, and the name and telephone number of the agent providing the verification.

Survivors with inherited properties, mobile homes, or travel trailers that lack traditional ownership documentation may self-certify ownership as a last resort.

Owners with the same address from a previous disaster only need to verify the property once. FEMA also extended the date of eligible documents from three months to a year before the disaster.


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• Landlords and tenants must document that they occupied the dwelling at the time of the loss.

• Applicants can provide official occupancy documents, such as:

• Utility bills, bank or credit card statements, phone bills, etc.

• Employer declaration

• Written rental agreement

• Rent receipts

• Declaration of the public official

• ID card, driver’s license, government-issued ID card

FEMA will also accept motor vehicle registration, letters from local schools (public or private), federal or state benefit providers, social service organizations, or court documents.

Applicants may also use a signed statement from a mobile or commercial home park owner, or self-certification for a mobile home or travel trailer as a last resort.

To request assistance, landlords and tenants in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties can access online,, call 800-621-3362 or use the FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned phone, or other service, give FEMA the number of that service.

For an accessible video on how to ask for help, go to,

For the latest information on flood recovery in Kentucky, visit femagov/disaster/466.3 and follow FEMA on Twitter at, Visit Governor Andy Beshear’s website at,

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