Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Tuesday, November 7, 2017

DISASTER HOUSING RECOVERY COALITION

  • In an effort to better organize our disaster housing recovery efforts, NLIHC has created a formal list of members of the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC), which is so far comprised of 220 organizations (excluding the Congressional staff, federal agency staff, and representatives of foundations that join the weekly call-in.) and those who have registered through an online form. Organizations in the DHRC will be automatically signed onto further disaster sign-on letters unless they take the opportunity to “opt-out” (which will be offered for each sign-on letter) rather than needing each organization to sign onto each letter. Groups can join this list by completing the form at: https://nlihc.wufoo.com/forms/join-the-disaster-housing-recovery-coalition.
  •  The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition developed a two-page presentation of the 10 top priorities that ought to be included in the next disaster supplemental spending bill. This 10 ten list was developed by local, state, and national groups through the DHRC policy working group. NLIHC staff have been sharing it with Hill staff and will follow up with Hill meetings for the policy working group in the coming days. DC advocates are urged to participate in the Hill meetings. Advocates outside of DC are urged to share the top 10 list with their congressional delegation and other local leadership.

GENERAL UPDATE

November 7 Summary of Known Deadlines. NLIHC has updated its summary of known application deadlines from the FEMA website. The summary includes deadlines for programs administered by FEMA, SBA, DOL, SNAP, and HUD.

CONGRESS

Senate Democrats’ OMB Request. On November 3, a group of 28 Democratic Senators sent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney a letter with recommendations for the Administration’s third disaster supplemental. The recommendations are meant to address the needs of all affected communities and cover funding suggestions for nearly 20 different topics. Some of these suggestions are detailed here:

  • Puerto Rico. The Administration should provide a means for increased liquidity for Puerto Rico’s government that provides grants, or no-interest loans that can be canceled or forgiven if Puerto Rico does not have an operating surplus in the three-year period beginning November 1, 2021. In addition, the letter requests specific legislative language on rebuilding the island’s electric grid with resiliency. Waive state and local match and cost-share requirements for both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Authorize Wildfire Suppression. The Administration should support a legislative proposal amending the Budget Control Act to increase the annual amount available for all disasters within the Disaster Cap Adjustment and authorize wildfire suppression as an eligible activity.
  • FEMA. Funding for FEMA through the end of FY18 should include known and projected costs for recent disasters. Recipients of FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grants should be eligible for hazard mitigation funding that will strengthen communities susceptible to fire. FEMA should also be funding to help establish a nationwide mitigation program to strengthen vulnerable infrastructure.
  • CDBG-DR. The supplemental should provide CDBG-DR funds to help communities with long-term recovery and mitigation, and should include funding for technical assistance and capacity building.
  • Infrastructure. The EPA’s State Revolving Fund should be funded to ensure water and sewer infrastructure is repaired. Public health and community and natural resources can be protected by ensuring toxic chemicals and hazardous waste does not infect drinking water.
  • Housing. The supplemental needs to include sufficient funding to restore or replace federally-assisted housing damaged and ensure that HUD-assisted households have housing during recovery. The administration should direct HUD to allow PHAs in affected areas to transfer funds between public housing capital, public housing operating, and Section 8 voucher accounts. This flexibility is necessary to allow PHAs to make rapid repairs and assist HUD-assisted households. Additional rental assistance should also be requested. The letter does not mention instructing FEMA to enter into an interagency agreement with HUD to create and operate a Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP).
  • Food Assistance. The administration should lift the cap on the block grant Puerto Rico receives in lieu of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and provide additional funding for Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program. In addition, legislation should allow Puerto Rico to be eligible to receive disaster nutrition assistance.
  • Labor and Job Training. Funding should support occupational health and safety, require at least 50% of the employees of federal contractors and recipients performing relief and reconstruction work be residents of areas affected by the disasters, expand access to disaster unemployment assistance and job training, and reinstate affirmative action requirements in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  • Education. Supplemental funds need to provide resources for public schools in affected areas as well as schools servicing a higher number of homeless children.
  • Legal Services. The Legal Services Corporation should be funded to help provide assistance to low income survivors for issues such as destroyed documents, scams, evictions, and family issues.
  • House Hearing. On November 7, The House Committee on Natural Resources held an oversight hearing entitled “Examining Challenges in Puerto Rico’s Recovery and the Role of the Financial Oversight and Management Board.” The goal of the hearing was to ensure responsible and transparent recovery efforts. The witnesses’ opening statements spoke to Puerto Rico’s great financial need in addition to some of the obstacles to oversight. Witnesses included: Natalie Jaresko, Executive Director, Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico; Noel Zamot, Revitalization Coordinator, Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico; and Angel Pérez Otero, Mayor of Guaynabo.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/7)

  • 3,658 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $8,009,166 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $5,256,540 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,752,626 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 11/7)

  • 224,954 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $124,376,955 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $20,064,160 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $104,312,794 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
  • Disaster Unemployment Extension. The Department of Labor has extended the filing deadline for Disaster Unemployment Assistance for residents of Puerto Rico until January 11, 2018. Residents of all municipalities are eligible for this assistance.
  • Infrastructure Status. FEMA reports that power is restored to 41% of the island, 55 of 68 hospitals are back on the power grid, 83% of the population has potable drinking water, and 92.5% of residents have access to cell phone service.

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 11/7)

  • 3,064 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,903,599 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,080,960 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
  • Overview of Programs. FEMA has published an overview of new and expanded programs available to survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands:
  • Food Assistance. Those eligible can apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) November 6 – 9 and November 13 – 15.
  • Medicine. The Department of Health and Human Services provides a 30-day supply of drugs through the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP). The supply can be renewed every 30 days.
  • Unemployment Assistance. The Department of Labor is providing Disaster Unemployment Aid to eligible survivors. The deadline to apply is December 29.
  • Temporary Roofs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ program Operation Blue Room provides temporary roofing. The deadline to apply is extended to November 23.
  • Individual Assistance. Survivors can apply for FEMA Individual Assistance until December 18.
  • Disaster Loans. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers homeowners, renters, and business owners low-interest loans to repair or replace personal property or a primary residence. The deadline to apply is December 18.

HURRICANE IRMA

 FEMA

 Florida

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/7)

  • 732,859 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $891,912,614 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $612,515,615 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $279,396,998 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

Georgia

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/7)

  • 8,911 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,014,424 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,756,002 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,258,422 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $26,488 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)

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

Puerto Rico

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/7)

  • 839 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,892,111 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $982,262 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $909,849 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $1,316,250 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated, all for emergency work

(Categories A-B)**

*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

U.S. Virgin Islands

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/6)

  • 3,786 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $5,638,934 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $3,444,760 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,194,174 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

SBA

South Carolina

 Application Deadlines.

    • December 4. Renters, homeowners, nonprofits, and businesses in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper and counties have until December 4 to apply for SBA low-interest loans.
    • December 15. Nonprofit organizations in 19 counties have until December 15 to submit disaster loan applications for physical damages caused by Hurricane Irma. The counties are: Abbeville, Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Edgefield, Georgetown, Hampton, Jasper, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens and

 


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

 Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/7)

  • 345,934 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,353,266,704 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,052,392,440 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $300,874,263 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

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