Experiencing a house fire is one of the most traumatizing experiences you can endure. Not only are you having to process the loss of your home and belongings,, you also have to move quickly to secure temporary housing. Whether your home needs to be professionally cleaned due to smoke and water damage, or you lost your home and belongings, we are going to walk you through how to secure temporary housing and the best options for choosing a place to live.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The first thing you should do once you and your family are in a safe location and situated is reach out to your insurance company. Whether you were living in a rental or a home you owned, if you had insurance, you may have what’s called “loss-of-use coverage.” This is a provision in your policy that covers temporary housing and additional living expenses that exceed your normal living expenses. Because you still need to pay on your mortgage, taxes, and home insurance, even if it’s uninhabitable, you will need additional funds to cover your temporary housing and some may even cover meals or laundry. If your home is uninhabitable, these funds should become available.
Most people think these policies will only cover a hotel for a short period such as during short-term repairs like cleaning smoke and water damage. However, in many policies, the insurance company will cover long-term housing, such as in a corporate apartment or rental house. The most important step is to immediately work with your insurance company to determine your coverage and the time line you have.
Getting Help After a House Fire with No Insurance
If you didn’t have insurance, or you didn’t have loss of use coverage, there are organizations that can help connect you with resources including emergency temporary housing. Organizations that may be able to help you include:
- American Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- Local churches or religious organizations
- Public agencies, such as the local Department of Health and Human Services
- State or local emergency services
Often they can help you secure a place to stay, provide you with clothing, food vouchers, and necessities until you can get back on your feet.
Weigh Your Options for Temporary Housing
Whether you’re paying out of pocket or your insurance company is footing the bill for your housing, the three most common options for temporary housing are a hotel, rental house or apartment, or a fully-furnished temporary apartment, often called corporate housing.
For short term stays of a few weeks or less, a hotel can be a convenient option. There’s no paperwork to worry about, and they offer the basic amenities to get by for a few weeks until you can get back to your home.
However, living out of a suitcase with minimal belongings and amenities, coupled with the impersonal nature of a hotel makes it almost impossible to get into a routine to get into a comfortable routine. This is especially true if you have a family. Additionally, a hotel can be prohibitively expensive for emergency temporary housing that lasts longer than a few days.
Rental House or Apartment
Renting an apartment or house offers the stability you need after the trauma of a house fire, and because they are set up for long-term living, they are much more affordable than a hotel. Unless you know you will be displaced from your home for a year, renting a standard apartment may not be the feasible option for the following factors:
- Signing a lease of up to 12 months
- Paying security deposit
- Connecting utilities and paying deposits
- Purchasing new furniture and belongings
The ideal solution for most people seeking emergency temporary housing after a fire is a corporate apartment. These fully-furnished apartments are equipped with everything you need to live comfortably, including fully equipped kitchens and laundry rooms and offer the benefits of both a hotel and a rental apartment.
Like a hotel, there is no need for deposits, having utilities connected, running background checks, or signing a lease – you can simply move in and focus on getting your life back to normal. Unlike a hotel, corporate apartments are comfortable, spacious, and have convenient floor plans that allow for family living with ease while offering a much lower monthly rate.
Contact Us for Temporary Housing After a Fire in North Carolina
If you’ve lost your home in a fire or it’s uninhabitable for more than a few weeks, reach out to Corporate Accommodations. With locations in Greensboro, Chapel Hill, and across North Carolina, we can help you get situated in a conveniently located apartment that can be a convenient place to call home. To learn more, reach out to us at 336-299-1312 or fill out the contact form below to find the right temporary housing for you and your family.