Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Temporary Housing Program

Mat-Su | Erin Leaders | Thursday, January 17, 2019

Disaster Assistance for Individuals and Families

The 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake was declared a state disaster on November 30, 2018. This declaration activated the Alaska Individual and Family Grant (IFG) Program and Temporary Housing Program (THP) to provide timely assistance to individuals or families to meet disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs. Individual Assistance programs provide essential support only when other resources are unavailable or inadequate. They are not loss indemnification programs and do not ensure applicants return to their pre-disaster living conditions.

The IFG program works closely with the affected communities to ensure potentially eligible applicants are aware of the available resources. Individuals apply with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS & EM). The programs accept applications for 60 days after program commencement and provides assistance for up to a maximum of 18 months. The deadline to apply for the 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake Individual Family Grant Program is January 29, 2019.

Registration can be done in the following ways:

  • Telephone Applicants may call the DHS & EM toll-free number, 1 (855) 445-7131, to file a new application.
  • Applicants can apply online at
  • Applicants may choose to complete the application via mail. To request an application by mail please call the toll-free number above.

It is the individuals’ responsibility to provide documentation to demonstrate their eligibility. Applicants may need to provide proof of occupancy, ownership, loss, and/or information concerning their housing situation prior to the disaster. IFG staff work closely with eligible applicants to ensure immediate and essential individual and family needs are met. IFG financial assistance goes toward eligible items or services. Although grants do not need to be repaid, applicants must provide receipts for products and services received through the program. If their grant application is denied in whole or part, applicants may file a written request with the division director or designee within 30 days for reconsideration. Should the reconsideration be denied, or the applicant disputes a division cost estimate, the applicant has an additional 60 days to appeal.

Individual and Family Grant (IFG) Program

The current maximum grant to an individual or family is $17,450 for any one disaster. All other forms of assistance must be pursued prior to applying for an IFG grant. Compensation received or available from other sources, including insurance and Small Business Association (SBA) or other loans, reduces the available amount of the award. Eligible categories of assistance include:

  • Housing (primary residences only). Money to repair, or rebuild; provide access; clean or make sanitary; remove debris relating to life- health- and safety-issues; minimum protective measures against immediate threat of residential damage.
  • Personal property. Money to replace essential clothing; household items, furnishings or appliances; tools and specialized or protective clothing required by an employer or by self-employment; subsistence equipment; repair, cleaning or sanitizing of personal property; or moving and storage to prevent or reduce damage.
  • Transportation. Money for public transportation assistance or a maximum of $8,325.00 (1/2 of max IFG amount) to repair or replace the primary vehicle that is no longer usable because of disaster-related damage.
  • Medical and Dental Expenses. Money to pay for medical and dental care or equipment prescribed as a result of the disaster, for which other sources of assistance are unavailable.
  • Funeral Expenses. Money for funeral and burial/cremation expenses related to a death caused by the disaster not covered by other resources.

To be considered for IFG assistance, the loss must have occurred in the designated disaster area.

Temporary Housing Program

The Temporary Housing Program provides timely direct temporary housing assistance to individuals or families whose primary residence is inhabitable because it has been damaged, destroyed, or made inaccessible in a state-declared disaster. The program meets minimum housing requirements for those with no alternate housing options and for which other assistance is either unavailable or inadequate. Temporary housing assistance includes:

  • Transient accommodations. Immediately following a disaster declaration or evacuation, evacuees stay with family or friends or use shelters wherever possible. However, the division works to meet the transient housing needs of each disaster.
  • Rent and eligible utilities. Assistance may include rent and eligible utilities, excluding telephone. Payments for rental assistance and metered utilities within that rental cover a predetermined initial period, generally 30 days for renters and in 3-month increments for home owners.
  • Housing in a temporary housing unit when rentals and repairs are not practical.
  • Repair of the damaged primary residence in situations where restoring the essential living areas is less than providing other forms of temporary housing assistance. The goal is to repair the home to a safe and sanitary living or functioning condition, not to restore the home to its original condition. 
Repairs can include:
  • Structural elements (foundation, outside walls, roof)
  • Utilities (electrical, plumbing and gas system)
  • Windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets
  • Entrance and exit ways from the home, including privately owned access roads
  • Septic or sewage system
  • Heating, ventilating & air-conditioning system
  • Well or other water system
  • Blocking, leveling and anchoring of mobile home; reconnecting or resetting sewer, water, electrical, fuel lines and tanks