At the time of Hurricane Irma, Mrs. Stocks and her husband were residing on a 38.5-foot houseboat which was their home for the last three years. During Hurricane Irma, their houseboat sunk in the public waters of the State of Florida and were left homeless. Mrs. Stocks applied for FEMA assistance. In October 2017, she was denied any housing or personal property assistance because FEMA determined the damaged property address was not her primary residence.
Ms. Maria Alvarez, Legal Services Staff Attorney, represented Mrs. Stocks in her appeal. In early 2019, FEMA reversed its decision and provided Mrs. Stocks with more than $30,000 in assistance. As a result, Mr. and Mrs. Stocks were able to purchase a new houseboat and are no longer homeless.