Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Wednesday, March 21, 2018

General Updates

HUD Webinars. HUD is holding free webinars to provide an overview of the new loss mitigation policies that address disaster-affected borrowers. The webinar is open to all FHA-approved services and housing counselors. The next two dates are March 22 (2-3 PM EDT) and April 3 (11 AM – 12 PM EDT).


CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

October Wildfires

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 4,474 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $15,586,229 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,508,585 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $6,077,644 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $262,594,425 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $260,950,342 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**

$203,708 Permanent Work (Categories C-G) 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

December Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows, and Debris Flows

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 682 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $4,116,062 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $3,565,157 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $550,905 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

Local Perspectives

Homes Built in Fire-Prone Areas. A new study shows that new housing developments are increasing fastest in areas most vulnerable to wildfires. The problem is particularly bad in southern California with hundreds of thousands of homes built in high fire-risk areas between 1990 and 2010.


HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 443,063 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,083,612,905 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $594,401,498 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $489,211,407 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $1,327,513,185 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $1,309,513,185 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 Deadline Extended. Survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico now have until June 18 to register with FEMA for individual assistance.
  • Additional Numbers. A FEMA update states that more than 6,900 families have participated in the Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program with more than 3,500 of those families still being housed in hotels in Puerto Rico and 37 states.

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 10,901 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $38,168,803 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $26,272,691 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $11,896,112 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $442,712,232 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $431,826,605 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $3,472,078 Permanent Work (Categories C-G) 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.

  • Federal Funding. FEMA will continue to cover for an additional 60 days 100% of eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures. This federal reimbursement for Public Assistance (PA) work will now continue through May 5 for Hurricane Irma and May 14 for Hurricane Maria.
  • Prescription Assistance Extended. A FEMA program that provides prescription assistance for uninsured disaster survivors has been extended through April 15 for survivors in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program provides free 30-day replacements of certain drugs and medical supplies for eligible survivors.
  • Additional Grants. FEMA approved $173,844,945 to the VI Water and Power Authority for power restoration and an additional $8,368,381 to the VI Waste Management Authority for debris removal and wastewater management.

Local Perspectives

  • 6 Months After Maria. Six months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, residents are still struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives. In a recent New York Times piece, a student from Comerio shares her story of helping to rebuild her town and the continued struggle that thousands on the island face. Members of the community have put the rest of their lives on hold as they raise money to rebuild the nearly 4,000 damaged homes in Comerio.
  • Informal Housing. FEMA is denying assistance to many Puerto Ricans because they lack deeds to their homes. About 60% of applicants are denied Individual Assistance (IA), mostly because they cannot prove ownership of their homes. While FEMA has tried to ease documentation requirements, many Puerto Ricans are still being denied for inconsistent reasons. While Puerto Rican government officials have suggested using disaster relief money to grant deeds to families, this action will not address the immediate needs on the island.
  • Rally in DC. On March 20, about 250 people rallied in front of FEMA headquarters to demand action and assistance. Homes in Puerto Rico lack power and those who have evacuated to the mainland have struggled to find housing or employment. Several members of Congress, including Representatives Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Darren Soto (D-FL) attended to show their support.

HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 773,022 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $994,214,666 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $688,353,582 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $305,861,083 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $24,817,137 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $11,853,196 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**

$594,644 Permanent Work (Categories C-G) 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

Georgia

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 9,374 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $13,446,678 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,947,703 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,498,975 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $8,091,998 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $4,032,082 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**

$3,486,596 Permanent Work (Categories C-G) 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.

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 1,467 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $7,736,801 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $6,124,045 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,612,756 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $4,200,815 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.

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 8,496 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $34,714,233 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $24,748,217 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $9,966,016 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $6,083,631 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $5,833,273 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $227,813 Permanent Work (Categories C-G) 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.


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 3/21)

  • 371,613 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,579,795,031 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,195,269,500 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $384,525,531 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $633,026,626 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $569,105,202 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $983,299 Permanent Work (Categories C-G) 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.


Local Perspectives

Lawsuit Against HUD. Texas Housers has filed a lawsuit against HUD in federal district court, claiming that HUD has failed to enforce compliance with fair housing laws in Houston. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, HUD and other federal agencies would be required to withhold funding–including disaster relief funds–from a municipality that did not comply with civil rights and fair housing obligations. HUD and the City of Houston recently resolved a 2017 finding that revealed discriminatory practices on the basis of race, but Texas Housers alleges this agreement does nothing to end the city’s policies of segregation. The lawsuit would suspend CDBG-DR funds until Houston complies with the law. Read the lawsuit here.

Renters Left Out of Buyouts. Research from Texas Housers reveals more inequitable treatment of renters during recovery. An apartment complex receiving federal HUD funding as a project-based voucher recipient, Arbor Court, is next to Greens Bayou, which regularly floods during major weather events. During Hurricane Harvey, many residents needed to be rescued. Maps of the area surrounding the complex show that many empty lots border Greens Bayou, a result of a buyout program. While Harris County offered buyouts for homeowners, HUD has not offered an alternative for the Arbor Court tenants. Residents suggest Section 8 vouchers and new units in a safer location would be a more just outcome.


Read previous Disaster Housing Recovery updates at: http://nlihc.org/issues/disaster

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: