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Home Sweet Home

Preparing for a Housing Emergency 

Researched and Written By Andrea Bowling

Whether your home is a sprawling home in North Dakota, or a small studio apartment in New York City, a housing emergency would be stressful to downright devastating.  

Housing emergencies range from a broken window to being evicted from your home. The first step in preparing for a housing emergency is understanding legal documents.

Some of these include: 

  • Rental and Lease Agreements 
  • Mortgage and Loan Documents 
  • Insurance Coverage 
  • State and County Requirements and Laws  

Review your documents with an attorney through free resources provided by the VA, click here for a list of resources. 

Other documents and information you should have on file include: 

  • Home Warranty Information 
  • Contact Information for Landlords 
  • Insurance contact information,  
  • Plumber 
  • Electrician 
  • Handyman 
  • HVAC Technician 

When getting contact information include normal business hour contacts and after hour emergency contacts.

If the housing emergency includes something such as a broken pipe or grease fire there are some steps that you can do to help minimize the damage and ensure your family is safe. Read the article from The Family Handyman for 12 Common Home Emergencies and How to Deal With Them.  

If you know you are going to be evicted reach out for legal and financial assistance as soon as you know there is a problem, click here to find your local VSO to get connected to housing resources. Local counties and non-profits can also provide resources to help with housing bills, rent, or mortgage payments, click here to find organizations in your area. Check your utility provider for programs to help with utility bills.  

A housing emergency can cause you to temporarily leave your home. Your housing plan should take this into account and have a plan of where you and your family can go such as, family and friends that you can stay with, hotel, or reach out to a local church or nonprofits.

Talk to your insurance agent about what temporary housing will be provided in the case of an emergency, click here to read an article by NeedHelpPayingBills.com for additional options for emergency housing. If you do have to leave your house due to safety make sure to secure the house and take pictures to document damage and how you secured your property.  

If you are in urgent need of housing or are currently displaced there are many organizations that can help you and your family get temporary emergency housing and help you find a permanent solution, click here to look up housing assistance in your area.   

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