Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Monday, November 6, 2017

CONGRESS

On November 2, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced a bill to provide affordable housing to survivors of major disasters. Senator Nelson noted in a statement that tens of thousands of people from Puerto Rico have left the island for Florida to find a complete lack of affordable housing options. The bill also provides additional funding for HUD, particularly the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program that would be available to evacuees. Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) introduced a companion bill mirroring the Nelson bill in the House on November 3.

Updated FEMA Figures

NLIHC received updated numbers from FEMA on the number of households using hotel vouchers as part of its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, as well as the breakdown of applications and denials for Individual Assistance. FEMA reports that as of October 19, 33,113 households (73,040 people) remain in shelters throughout the country. More than 3,000 households remain in 70 open emergency shelters in Puerto Rico.

Here is the breakdown of the number of people remaining in hotels, by storm:

State/Territory and Disaster TSA Program

As of 11/2 (current number checked in)

FL (Irma – 4337) 20,417
TX (Harvey – 4332) 52,050
CA (Wildfires- 4344) 573

 

Here is the latest breakdown for Individual Assistance applicants:

Individual Assistance – as of Thursday, November 2, 2017

State/Territory and Disaster Referrals Pending Withdrawn Ineligible Approved
USVI (Maria – 4340) 15,859 11,556 73 536 2,939
PR (Maria – 4339) 792,757 537,851 1,297 10,014 224,281
GA (Irma – 4338) 27,005 5,093 1,822 8,151 8,868
FL (Irma – 4337) 1,885,007 273,386 85,121 513,671 727,109
PR (Irma – 4336) 3,312 1,411 117 861 812
USVI (Irma – 4335) 11,821 6,292 145 984 3,617
TX (Harvey – 4332) 730,699 44,551 45,842 249,241 343,443
Total 3,466,460 880,140 134,417 783,458 1,311,069

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

  • California Elected Officials Request $7.4 Billion. Governor Jerry Brown and 41 members of the California Congressional delegation sent a letter* to President Trump on November 3, asking him to include $7.4 billion for wildfire recovery in his request to Congress for additional disaster funding. Of the total amount, the largest requests are for:
    • $1.4 billion for FEMA assistance, especially for Public Assistance Categories C-G for permanent work for roads, bridges, water control facilities, etc., as well as for Hazard Mitigation;
    • $1.0 billion for CDBG-DR, especially in light of an estimated 6,000 homes lost or severely damaged in an area that had a pre-fire vacancy rate of 1% or 2%;
    • $3.1 billion for USDA, primarily for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program, anticipating 2,000 previously unassisted households will apply and another 3,500 current SNAP participants will seek disaster supplements.

*Although the letter was circulated to the entire California delegation, only one Republican, Representative Ed Royce, signed the request for funding.

  • Governor Allocates $41.5 Million from State Programs. Governor Brown directed the California Department of Finance to expedite the allocation of $41.5 million in funding to help support immediate needs in impacted areas, including cleanup, hazardous waste removal, and assistance for Californians impacted by the fires who are not eligible for federal aid. $5 million, managed by the Department of Social Services, will aid wildfire victims who are not eligible to receive federal disaster assistance because of their immigration status. The funds will help these individuals and families affected by the fires with food, housing, utility, and other expenses. The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery will dedicate $35 million to debris removal and cleanup efforts, while the Department of Toxic Substances Control will direct $1.5 million to support hazardous waste cleanup operations. This funding will support debris removal and household hazardous waste cleanup at lots impacted by the fires. Household hazardous waste has already been removed from more than 3,000 lots and debris removal is starting across the impacted counties.

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 3,636 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $7,882,191 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $5,140,799 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,741,392 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

TSA Participants: (as of 11/2)

  • 573 checked in

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 224,668 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $123,895,694 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $19,635,026 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $104,260,668 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $425,258,723 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated, all for emergency work (Categories A-B)**

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

**Funds made available to the state via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 11/2)

  • 792,757 referrals
  • 537,851 pending applications
  • 1,297 withdrawn
  • 10,014 ineligible
  • Permanent Public Assistance Approved. The President amended the Puerto Rico disaster declaration, authorizing a 90% federal cost-share for permanent work under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, Categories C-G. According to the White House and FEMA media releases, Puerto Rico elected to participate in alternative procedures authorized under section 428 of the Robert T. Stafford Act which conditions assistance upon there being extra controls on project cost estimation and project management.

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 3,025 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,824,985 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,002,346 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,822,639 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $16,547,917 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated, all for emergency work  (Categories A-B)**

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

**Funds made available to the state via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 11/2)

  • 15,859 referrals
  • 11,556 pending applications
  • 73 withdrawn
  • 536 ineligible
  • Operation Blue Roof Extension. FEMA extended the deadline for survivors to sign up for free temporary roofing through Operation Blue Roof to November 23. This deadline is separate from the December 18 deadline to register for FEMA disaster assistance. To apply, survivors should visit a Right of Entry (ROE) center.

Local Perspectives

Students from PR. At least 500 children who left Puerto Rico with their families have enrolled in public schools in Connecticut. 85% of the students joined the state’s lowest-achieving districts, which are already struggling. In Hartford, where the largest number enrolled, the district provides the new Puerto Rican students with immediate enrollment, school supplies, winter coats, food, and other supplies. The state education department is continuing to ensure districts provide the needed services, including special education and free lunch.


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 732,080 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $889,844,518 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $610,839,177 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $279,005,341 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 11/2)

  • 1,885,007 referrals
  • 273,386 pending applications
  • 85,121 withdrawn
  • 513,671 ineligible
  •  20,417 participants in TSA
  • Extended Deadlines.
    • The deadline to apply for FEMA Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now November 14 (The previous deadline was October 31).
    • The SBA deadline for renters, homeowners, nonprofits, and businesses to apply for low-interest loans to address physical property damage is November 24. The deadline to apply for low-interest loans due to economic injury is June 11.
    • HUD has granted another 90-day moratorium to on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of FHA-insured homes to March 9.

 Georgia

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 8,904 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,006,825 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,749,770 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,257,055 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 11/2)

  • 27,005 referrals
  • 5,093 pending applications
  • 1,822 withdrawn
  • 8,151 ineligible

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 834 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,886,454 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $976,605 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $909,849 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 11/2)

  • 3,312 referrals
  • 1,411 pending applications
  • 117 withdrawn
  • 861 ineligible

South Carolina

Amendment to Disaster Declaration No. 1. Three additional counties have been approved for Public Assistance An additional 27 counties and the Catawba Indian Nation are now eligible for emergency protective measures [Category B] under FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

U.S. Virgin Islands

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 3,750 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $5,524,699 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $3,332,025 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,192,674 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $25,056,945 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated, all for emergency work     (Categories A-B)**

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

**Funds made available to the state via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 11/2)

  • 11,821 referrals
  • 6,292 pending applications
  • 145 withdrawn
  • 984 ineligible

 


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 345,513 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,350,069,356 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,050,373,294 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $299,696,062 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $474,860,721 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $411,922,596 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

**Funds made available to the state via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

Individual Assistance Numbers: (as of 11/2)

  • 730,699 referrals
  • 44,551 pending applications
  • 45,842 withdrawn
  • 249,241 ineligible
  • 52,050 participants in TSA
  • Individual Assistance Deadline Extended to November 30. Residents of the 41 designated counties in Texas have until November 30 to register for FEMA grants (the previous deadline was November 24 – the extra six days is added in recognition of Thanksgiving holiday on November 23).

Local Perspectives

  • Rebuild Texas. According to a weekly newsletter from the Governor’s commission to Rebuild Texas:
  • The Texas Attorney General sent 127 violation notices to businesses accused of price gouging during Hurricane Harvey. All of these cases are related to gas stations hiking up prices.
  • FEMA has received 865 requests from jurisdictions for Public Assistance.
  • FEMA has received 885,222 individual assistance applications as of November 1.
  • The last shelter closed on October 28.
  • FEMA completed 540,249 home inspections as of November 1.
  • Land Commissioner George P. Bush kicked off the General Land Office’s Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair program, which provides permanent repairs to homes with damage between $17,000 and $60,000.

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