Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Thursday, November 16, 2017

CONGRESS

  • Senators Urging Creation of DHAP. On November 15, a group of 12 Senators sent a letter urging FEMA administrator Brock Long and HUD Secretary Ben Carson to better coordinate recovery housing efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The letter specifically encourages FEMA and HUD to establish a disaster housing assistance program (DHAP) that would allow the federal government to utilize the network of public housing agencies across the country when meeting post-disaster housing needs. The Senators request HUD and FEMA provide answers regarding the current resources and unmet needs, specifically:
    • Current resources available to quickly and properly house displaced people, both those on the islands and those who have evacuated;
    • Number of HUD-assisted households impacted by Irma and Maria and efforts to house those households;
    • Deadlines for temporary, medium-, and long-term housing options;
    • Options available for families and housing authorities on the islands and mainland given the extent of the devastation;
    • Data gaps that are preventing benefits from flowing efficiently to families in need

 


CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/16)

  • 4,014 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $10,917,435 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $7,045,391 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,872,044 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • *Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/16)

  • 231,420 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $146,399,031 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $41,717,565 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $104,681,466 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $426,691,550 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  • 1,297 withdrawn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

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 11/16)

  • 3,477 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $3,943,361 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $2,027,781 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,915,580 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $105,405,081 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

 


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 11/16)

  • 741,691 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $915,642,434 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $629,536,540 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $286,105,894 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 11/16)

  • 8,974 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,221,066 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,924,410 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,296,656 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 11/16)

  • 980 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,099,571 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,103,467 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $996,104 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $2,871,448 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 11/16)

  • 4,445 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $7,495,955 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $5,188,366 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,307,589 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $3,510,123 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

Local Perspectives

  • Vacant Navy Housing. Representative Carlos Curbelo (D-FL) has been advocating for the Navy to open 166 vacant units at Sigsbee Park, part of a Naval Air Station in the Florida Keys. Mr. Curbelo is urging the Navy to open the units to the public as soon as possible. Even before Hurricane Irma, affordable housing options in the Keys were incredibly limited, and the need is even more urgent now.

 


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/16)

  • 351,897 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,399,376,519 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,088,260,934 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $311,115,585 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $490,375,001 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $427,436,876 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

Local Perspectives

  • HHA Interview. In an interview with a local magazine, Tory Gunsolley, president and CEO of Houston Housing Authority (HHA), expressed concern about the proposed federal funding levels for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Prior to Hurricane Harvey, HHA had to stop issuing HCVs, and he is not optimistic about being able to issue vouchers again anytime soon. Mr. Gunsolley says, “The safety net of public housing and affordable housing is full. It was full before Harvey and now that folks need it even more, it doesn’t have capacity to add people to it.”

 HHA had 400 voucher households that needed to be relocated due to flooding. In addition, 951 public housing units were damaged during the storm. For example, the Forest Green Townhomes experienced severe flooding, impacting 84 families. In order to help those families, HHA worked with the Oklahoma City Housing Authority to cover all the families at Forest Green that experienced flood damage to their homes.

Mr. Gunsolley is advocates creating a disaster voucher program, which worked well after Hurricane Katrina. A disaster housing program would use housing authorities across the region to help the thousands of low income households impacted by the storm. It is necessary for FEMA to authorize HUD to roll such a program out. He also urges people to be vocal about the necessity of recovery to be fair and equitable to everyone. “We need to speak up for those voices that aren’t often heard in Washington.”

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