Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Monday, November 20, 2017

ADVOCACY ALERT

  • Advocates’ Sign-On Letter to HUD. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have opened a sign-on letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson about the urgent need to enter into a strong Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) with the City of Houston in order to address violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 identified in a letter HUD sent to the City of Houston on January 11, 2017. HUD’s failure to resolve the Title VI violations through a VCA with Houston would seriously hinder the City’s efforts to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey because Houston could would not be able to certify that it is affirmatively furthering fair housing, thereby presenting an obstacle to Houston’s eligibility to receive CDBG-DR funds. On November 17, HUD announced that it was allocating just over $5 billion in CDBG-DR funds to Texas for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, some of which the state will undoubtedly target for Houston. That action only increases the urgency to resolve this issue, and to do so in a way that expands housing choice for low income people in Houston and that is consistent with the fair housing obligations of the City, the State of Texas, and HUD itself. The letter warns that simply rebuilding the destroyed affordable housing where it is currently located would reinforce patterns of segregation. (For background see Disaster Housing Recovery Updates from November 9 and November 15.) The deadline to sign on is Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at 12 pm ET. If you have questions or would like to sign on to the letter, please contact Joe Rich at the Lawyers’ Committee at jrich@lawyerscommittee.org

HUD

  • HUD Awards $5 Billion CDBG-DR to Texas. On November 17, HUD that it is allocating $5.024 billion of CDBG-DR funding to the state of Texas from the $7.4 billion that was appropriated by Congress in the first disaster spending bill. The remainder of the appropriation will likely be allocated to some combination of Florida, Georgia, California, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands after damage assessments have been completed in those areas. NLIHC has heard that the White House plans to send an additional CDBG-DR request to Congress for Hurricane Maria damage to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands once damage assessments are completed (which will likely not be happen until early next year). Congress requires that HUD issue a Federal Register notice to accompany the CDBG-DR allocation. NLIHC was told that such a notice is forthcoming and will be similar to the notice issued on November 21, 2016. If HUD makes substantial changes to the public comment period or to the income targeting requirements for the funding, it would be done through the Federal Register NLIHC is monitoring the Federal Register site and will send the notice when it is available.
  • Section 8 Contracts. HUD has determined it will continue authorizing Section 8 contract payments to owners of HUD-assisted multifamily properties in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands through January.

OMB

 

  • Administration Submits Third Disaster Supplemental. The Trump administration submitted its latest disaster supplemental request to Congress on November 17. The White House is requesting $44 billion in emergency aid, including $25.2 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Program and for Small Business Administration (SBA) programs, $12 billion in CDBG-DR flood mitigation funding, $1 billion in emergency agricultural assistance, $1.2 billion for an education recovery fund, $4.6 billion for repair or replacement of damaged federal property, and smaller amounts for other priorities.

The Administration’s request proposes limiting the $12 billion in CDBG-DR funding to flood mitigation projects, stating that these projects would be awarded competitively to states and territories that had more than one flood-related major disaster declaration in the past four years. This requirement likely leaves out California for CDBG-DR funding to repair homes damaged or destroyed by the California wildfires, and would also preclude communities from using the funding for housing priorities outside of flood mitigation. To respond to the wildfires in California, the White House is requesting only tax relief provisions that mirror those provided after the recent hurricanes, including deductions for casualty losses, penalty-free access to retirement accounts, employment relief, and charitable giving incentives, among others.

The White House requests $4.3 million for USDA’s Rural Housing Insurance Fund to provide rehabilitation loans to rural multifamily housing developments and proposes legislative language to allow HUD to specify alternative environmental review requirements for single-family homes built outside of the floodplain and to expedite the recovery.

The White House proposes to offset this emergency funding with further cuts to domestic programs by continuing the low and harmful spending caps on non-defense mandatory programs for another two years. View the full Administration request here.

CONGRESS

  • Congressional Response to OMB Request. Members Congress and other officials have expressed disappointment in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) request for disaster recovery funds. Texas Governor Scott Abbott (R) called the request “completely inadequate for the needs of the state of Texas.” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) echoed that sentiment, calling it “wholly inadequate,” while Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he will work to ensure the state obtains the needed resources. Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Dennis Ross (R-FL) also said the OMB’s request did not address the recovery needs in their respective states. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticized the lack of adequate funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) released a joint statement condemning the lack of funding for California as “egregious.” The House may begin drafting a supplemental spending bill next week, while the Senate continues its work on tax reform.
  • After Thanksgiving. When Congress returns to Washington after the Thanksgiving break, their top priority will continue to be tax reform legislation. Congress will likely take up the disaster supplemental in early to mid-December. Given the limited number of days that remain in this year’s Congressional calendar, it is becoming increasingly likely that a disaster supplemental will be attached to a bill to extend the FY18 Continuing Resolution, which expires on December 8, or a final appropriations bill. The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition will continue urging Congress to provide more robust recovery resources to impacted communities, as well as other needed policy changes to ensure a just, equitable and complete housing recovery for the lowest income people and communities. The full set of disaster housing recovery recommendations can be found here.

GENERAL UPDATE

  • November 20 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.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/20)

  • 4,049 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $11,317,192 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $7,311,023 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $4,006,169 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved* 

    *Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.


HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/20)

  • 236,664 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $169,669,857 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $64,558,254 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $105,111,603 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $428,886,960 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 11/20)

  • 4,557 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $9,175,447 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $7,211,121 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,964,326 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

Permanent Housing Construction. FEMA, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), and the governor’s office have approved permanent housing construction (PHC) for eligible survivors who have sustained at least $17,000 in verified loss, but whose home was not destroyed. Assistance will be in the form of direct repairs to their pre-disaster primary residence in lieu of financial assistance from FEMA. FEMA will ensure that repairs are necessary and estimated costs (including labor) will not exceed $75,000 before approving an application.

Local Perspective

  • The Rockefeller Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and the Ford Foundation announced a joint effort to help Puerto Rico in their recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria. They have pledged approximately $5 million in resources as well as their joint expertise in helping communities rebuild in an equitable and resilient manner. The effort includes several initiatives: creating a commission that builds on knowledge from previous disasters; provides support and capacity building to local philanthropies and nonprofits in Puerto Rico; and an assessment of the damages.
  • Florida Resources for Puerto Rico. Florida Governor Rick Scott provided an updated list of resources available for Puerto Ricans arriving in Florida. These resources include Multi-Agency Resource Centers at two airports and the Port of Miami. State organizations and federal partners will be on-site to provide services such as helping families register for FEMA assistance and SNAP. The press release includes a list of local organizations and notes that the Florida Division of Emergency Management is working with federal and local partners to “explore and consider all available solutions with regards to housing Hurricane Maria survivors.”

HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 11/20)

  • 744,659 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $923,188,444 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $634,832,523 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $288,355,920 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
  • STEP Program. At least 140 homeowners in the Florida Keys have registered for FEMA’s Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program. STEP is a rapid repair program that allows participants to shelter in their home while rebuilding. The program provides a functional kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area, and area conditioning. Inspections for the program begin November 21. Those interested must apply for FEMA Individual Assistance before the November 24 deadline.

Georgia

By the Numbers: (as of 11/20)

  • 9,005 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,362,544 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,042,190 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,320,354 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $585,260 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $34,259 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)

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

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/20)

  • 1,045 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,237,850 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,144,290 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,093,561 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 11/20)

  • 5,385 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,235,877 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,853,698 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,382,179 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $4,133,931 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

South Carolina

  • Floodplain or historic property restoration activities. FEMA posted an initial public notice concerning activities that may affect historic properties, activities that are located in or affect wetland areas or the 100-year floodplain, and critical actions within the 500-year floodplain. The public notice explains relocation considerations based on Executive Orders concerning federal actions affecting the floodplains, wetlands, and other considerations, as well as on those based on the National Historic Preservation Act. Similar notices have been published for Texas, (see: Update 10/2), Florida (see: Update 10/10), and Georgia (see: Update 10/31).

 


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/20)

  • 353,459 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,414,160,251 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,099,183,193 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $314,977,058 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $490,646,367 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $427,708,242 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

 

  • TSA Extended. Eligible Texans receiving Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) may receive an extension for FEMA assistance until January 16, 2018. Survivors will have a mid-term eligibility review with FEMA on December 12. The TSA program allows survivors to stay in hotels paid for by FEMA while they find longer-term housing solutions.
  • GLO and FEMA efforts. Housing assistance response team members with the Texas General Land Office and FEMA will continue working weekdays and weekends throughout the upcoming holiday season. As of November 14, more than 140,000 households have received rental assistance, 76,000 have received repair assistance, and 367 households have received replacement assistance amounting to $8.8 million. The agencies have determined that over 8,600 applicants are eligible for direct short-term housing assistance, including the direct housing program and the Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair (DALHR) program. Direct short-term housing provides manufactured housing units and travel trailers; 199 families have been able to move in to these units.

Local Perspectives

State Disaster Declaration Renewed. Governor Greg Abbott has extended the State Disaster Declaration for all Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey. Currently, 60 counties are included in the declaration. State Disaster Declarations must be renewed every 30 days to keep assistance available.

Rebuild Texas Update. A weekly report from the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas provides some additional numbers regarding the recovery process in Texas:

  • As of November 16, nearly 17,000 households were participating in FEMA’s TSA program.
  • As of November 15, FEMA received 888,866 individual assistance (IA) applications.
  • 660 manufactured housing units are being installed or are already occupied by displaced families.
  • 2,735 applicants are in the final stages of the direct disaster housing process

Houston Recovers. A website from the City of Houston provides information regarding post-Harvey recovery, including additional data. The website maps the number of estimated affected units (311,859) as well as information on 311 and 911 calls and responses and debris removal. The website reports the number of trucks collecting debris for the day in Houston as well as how much debris has been collected (1,445,905 cubic yards).

Houston Rising. On November 15, more than a dozen community-based groups launched Houston Rising, a coalition fighting for equitable recovery. The coalition will organize affected communities to help increase their power in decision-making and help track recovery money to ensure it is used for disproportionately affected communities. The new coalition held its first community hearing on November 18. Members of the coalition include: A.C.T.I.O.N CDC, Air Alliance, Black Lives Mater Houston, Coalition of Community Organizations, Faith in Texas, Fe y Justicia, FIEL, Gulf Coast AFL-CIO, NAACP Houston Branch, SEIU Texas, T.E.J.A.S., Texas Appleseed, TOP Education Fund, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, West Street Recovery, and Workers Defense Project.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to Distribute $28.9 Million. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is distributing $28.9 million, on top of $7.5 million previously allotted, to local nonprofit organizations to provide financial aid and services to flood victims. The Fund, founded by Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett, has collected more than $100 million.

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.”

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Congress

Tax Reform and Recovery. Local housing groups in Texas and Florida sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan in opposition to the current House Republican tax plan, saying it would hurt disaster recovery efforts. The House tax plan eliminates the tax exemption for private activity bonds (PABs), essentially eliminating 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, both of which help fund infrastructure projects and promote private-public partnerships. In the letter, the Florida Housing Coalition and the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers stated that eliminating PABs would “be putting vital resources at risk at a time when they are needed to repair and rebuild homes of those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.” Last week, the Miami Herald published a letter to the editor by Jaimie Ross (CEO of the Florida Housing Coalition) opposing the elimination of PABs.

In addition, last week, Diane Yentel (President and CEO of NLIHC) wrote about the House tax plan, commenting that it would “increase the severity of the affordable housing crisis by eliminating a critical resource for affordable housing development and preservation; siphon off savings from needed reforms to the mortgage interest deduction to pay for bigger tax breaks for corporations and wealthy households; and significantly increase the likelihood of severe cuts to the entire social safety net in the years ahead. On November 14, NLIHC issued a call to action urging NLIHC members to call their representatives to oppose the House tax bill.

HUD

  • On November 14, NLIHC and our state partners met with HUD Deputy Secretary Pam Patenaude. The state partners covered a long list of affordable housing topics, including disasters. Christina Rosales from Texas Low Income Housing Information Services spoke about the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition’s top priorities, including transparency and oversight for CDBG-DR, DHAP, and fair housing as cornerstones to equitable recovery.
  • HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing sent additional guidance for public housing agencies (PHAs) receiving requests from households in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands who have Housing Choice Vouchers and wish to use their vouchers on the mainland (port their vouchers) when their local PHA (the “initial PHA”) cannot complete their portability responsibilities (for example because they do not have electricity). HUD issued preliminary guidance via email on October 11 (see Disaster Housing Recovery Update 10/20.) HUD published a list that includes all PHAs in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands indicating whether a “receiving PHA” on the mainland can use alternative procedures to complete porting requests. HUD will update this list by 5:00 pm ET every Thursday to reflect changes that allow initial PHAs to resume normal portability operations. This disaster portability guidance will be in effect until January 31, 2018, unless HUD extends this date.

GENERAL UPDATE

  • November 15 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.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/15)

  • 3,972 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $10,638,803 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $6,863,252 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,775,552 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

  • 469 people (199 families) are temporarily housed in hotels through December 7.
  • Two Application Deadlines. Residents and businesses in the eight designated counties have until December 11 to apply for FEMA Individual Assistance (IA). Right of Entry (RoE) permissions grant government contractors access to private property to remove fire debris and help speed up rebuilding. The deadline for submitting an RoE was Monday, November 13.
  • Flood Insurance. The recent fires have destroyed vegetation that normally absorbs rainfall, making homes more vulnerable to flooding. FEMA is urging people in areas affected by the fires that do not traditionally flood to invest in flood insurance.

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/15)

  • 230,951 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $145,667,461 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $41,044,572 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $104,622,889 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 11/15)

  • 3,413 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $3,785,728 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,882,214 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,903,513 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

Local Perspective

Mental Health Crisis. Many Puerto Ricans are struggling with their mental health following the trauma of Hurricane Maria. Health officials warn that a full-blown mental health crisis may arise as survivors cope with the post-traumatic stress. For those who were struggling with mental illness prior to the hurricane, the lack of stability and resources is exacerbating their illnesses.


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 11/15)

  • 741,142 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $913,799,738 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $628,200,124 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $285,599,614 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
  • Continued Rental Assistance. FEMA reminds renters and homeowners currently receiving FEMA rental assistance that they should submit an application for Continued Rental Assistance in order to receive up to two months of Continued Rental Assistance. Households must show they are developing a longer-term or permanent housing plan or demonstrate progress toward one. A contractor’s estimate of repairs can point to progress. A permanent housing plan is one that would put a household back into permanent safe, sanitary and functional housing within a reasonable time frame.

Georgia

By the Numbers: (as of 11/15)

  • 8,967 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,198,014 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,910,810 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,287,204 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 11/15)

  • 956 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,062,971 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,076,970 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $986,001 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 11/15)

  • 4,392 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $7,317,229 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $5,034,419 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,282,809 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

  • Florida Governor’s Budget Proposes $1.4 Billion for Future Disasters. Governor Rick Scott’s proposed budget would invest $1.4 billion in the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. It would include:
    • $1.32 billion for Disaster Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation
    • $3.5 million for the Statewide Emergency Alert Notification System
    • $1.8 million for County Emergency Operations Center Updates
    • $9.1 million for Flood Mitigation Assistance Programs
    • $6.7 million for Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program
    • $3.0 million for Hurricane Shelter Retrofit
  • Governor Proposes Removing $92 Million Set Aside from Affordable Homes. Governor Rick Scott’s proposed budget would take $92 million away from the state affordable housing trust funds. If the legislature agrees, it will be the 17th time since 1992 that housing trust fund dollars have been diverted for other uses. A 2017 report by the Florida Housing Coalition indicates that the housing trust fund collected nearly $6 billion over 25 years, but lost $2 billion to diversion to the state’s general fund. Florida was facing an affordable housing crisis prior to Hurricane Irma, and funding for the trust fund helps address the ever-growing need for affordable homes, especially for the lowest income households options.
  • No Power in the Virgin Islands. Two months after the storm, nearly 73% of residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands have no power. The Virgin Islands Power and Water Authority is committed to restoring power in 90% of all areas across the Virgin Islands by Christmas. Last week, the boil-water notice was lifted for St. Thomas and St. John, although it remains in effect for St. Croix. Like Puerto Rico, the territory has a large amount of debt and relies on federal funding sources for rebuilding.

HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/15)

  • 351,384 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,395,143,469 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,085,050,232 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $310,093,236 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $490,442,501 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $427,504,376 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

  • Advocates Demand HUD and Houston Address Discrimination in Infrastructure Spending. On October 31, the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TxLIHIS) sent a letter to Anna Maria Farias, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at HUD, asking that HUD immediately investigate Houston’s failure to provide essential water control infrastructure and floodplain protections for predominantly minority neighborhoods containing significant concentrations of affordable housing. TxLIHIS alleges that the City’s failures amount to discrimination on the basis of race and national origin, violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Improperly engineered open storm drainage ditches, locating affordable housing in floodplains and failing to assure equal flood protection expose residents of these neighborhoods to repeated displacement during floods, loss of personal property, exposure to mold and environment contaminants, and increased exposure to diseases spread by floodwater. These problems have been raised publicly and repeatedly by TxLIHIS and others with Houston officials, and are documented by the City’s own study of drainage infrastructure, but have not been remedied by the City.

TxLIHIS sent a separate letter sent to HUD on October 31 demanding that HUD take immediate action to deliver a Voluntary Compliance Agreement that outlines a path for Houston to correct housing discrimination described in a January 11, 2017 HUD letter (see Disaster Housing Update, 11/9). That letter also addresses Houston’s failure to provide equal levels of flood protection to African American and Latino neighborhoods. While majority white, non-Hispanic neighborhoods are generally provided internal storm water infrastructure offering adequate protection from street and structure flooding, most neighborhoods of people of color are still served by informally developed, open-ditch drainage infrastructure that was inadequately designed and that frequently results in inadequate storm water protection.

  • First Home Assisted Under Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair Program. A media release dated November 10 and posted on November 15 to the Texas General Land Office (GLO) indicates that repairs were completed on the home of the first recipient of the Direct Assistance for Limited Home Repair (DALHR) program. A video and still photos are available on the GLO website. DALHR, which provides permanent repairs for homeowners with moderate damage, is one of five FEMA programs GLO is administering to provide housing assistance for hurricane survivors. To be eligible for DALHR, if a home had at least 18 inches of water and a FEMA inspection shows a loss of at least $17,000. Uninsured damages must be less than 50% of the pre-disaster tax assessed value and may not exceed $60,000. Repairs must be made within 90 days. Homes located in the Special Flood Hazard Area are not eligible.

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Monday, November 13, 2017

General Updates

  • Third Supplemental Request from Administration Anticipated. The Trump administration is expected to send to Congress its third supplemental funding request for disaster aid this week. After combining the funding requests from the states and territories impacted by recent natural disasters, the aid package requested by the administration could be as high as $200 billion. However, it remains unclear when lawmakers will take up the request given the packed legislative agenda and the upcoming Thanksgiving recess. It also remains to be seen if the administration will request that any emergency funding is offset by cuts to other important programs.
  • Puerto Rico Requests $94.4 Billion. On Monday, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló sent a letter and a 90-page plan to President Trump, requesting $94.4 in additional disaster aid to help the island rebuild and recover from the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. From that amount, Governor Roselló is seeking more than $46 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds, $31 billion of which would go to repairing or rebuilding the more than 472,000 housing units that were severely damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes.

The letter notes that Puerto Rico lost a substantial portion of its housing stock, at a time when safe and decent housing is in high demand, and that families with low income or who have special needs have been particularly impacted by these losses. As a result, the letter states, “it is anticipated that temporary housing solutions for those affected by the hurricanes will be needed for months or, in some cases years. This produces a temporary recovery need for residents that includes rental assistance as well as repair and mitigation.” The letter seems to suggest these programs will be operated by the local Puerto Rican government, not a partnership between HUD and FEMA.


CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/13)

  • 3,954 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $10,491,449 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $6,758,651 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,732,799 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

  • FEMA Recovery Efforts. A release from FEMA provides additional numbers regarding recovery efforts in California as of November 9.
  • 73% of requested site inspections are complete.
  • 199 families (469 individuals) are housed through the TSA program.
  • 100% of household hazardous waste has been completed in four counties, and 70% has been completed in the others.
  • 1,369 loan applications have been submitted to the Small Business Administration from homeowners.
  • $27 million has been approved by SBA.

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/13)

  • 227,811 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $134,604,863 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $30,068,559 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $104,536,304 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 11/13)

  • 3,330 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $3,602,632 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,715,350 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,887,282 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $72,362,113 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

Local Perspective

Florida Response to Puerto Rico Evacuees. According to reports from an NLIHC member organization, approximately 143,000 people from Puerto Rico have arrived in Florida, and another 3,000 are waiting to be flown to Florida. FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management are coordinating to provide assistance to evacuees. TSA is already available for short-term housing assistance in hotels. However, other disaster recovery housing resources, such as short-term rental assistance, is not available to those interested in staying in Florida long-term. FEMA still recommends these individuals and households register with FEMA in case these other resources are activated for evacuees from Puerto Rico.


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 11/13)

  • 739,966 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $910,144,650 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $625,502,934 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $284,641,715 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
  • Public Assistance Deadline Extension. The deadline for state and local governments and private nonprofits to file a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) has been extended to November 21. Filing an RPA is the first step in receiving federal assistance for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities.

Georgia

 By the Numbers: (as of 11/13)

  • 8,962 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,172,217 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,886,941 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,285,276 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 11/13)

  • 923 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,015,149 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,063,043 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $952,106 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 11/13)

  • 3,886 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $5,888,156 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $3,686,640 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,201,516 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $25,567,068 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 11/13)

  • 350,297 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,384,985,374 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,078,539,881 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $306,445,493 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $485,328,434 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $422,390,309 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

  • Additional Recovery Numbers. The Weekly Update from the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas provides some additional numbers on the recovery efforts in Texas. All numbers are as of November 8.
  • 914 Requests for FEMA Public Assistance from jurisdictions
  • 887,146 applications for FEMA Individual Assistance received
  • 48,439 participants in TSA
  • 557,338 inspections completed by FEMA
  • Struggles on the Texas Coast. On November 8, mayors and county officials from along the Texas Coast testified before a Texas House Appropriations Committee about the continuing difficulties their communities are facing. They described the complete lack of housing available in small towns such as Fulton, Rockport, Port Aransas, and Refugio. Many of these towns do not have the financial capacity to rebuild or provide resources without some assistance. The local elected officials expressed frustration with the process, saying they are often continuously referred to another agency when looking for answers.

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Thursday, November 9, 2017

GENERAL UPDATES

  • NLIHC Analysis of Florida FEMA Hurricane Assistance Registrations. FEMA recently released data about registrations for assistance from its Individuals and Households Program (IHP) after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The data provide a summary of the number and ownership status of registrants, extent of damage, and the dollar amounts approved for assistance. Like NLIHC’s previous analysis of Hurricane Harvey registrants in Texas, the data from Florida show that renters are disproportionately represented among registrants, and households with limited financial resources may face greater difficulty in planning for, coping with, and recovering from disaster. IHP provides approved registrants with assistance for rent, home repair (for homeowners), or other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical care, transportation, storage, or essential household items.
  • FHFA Allows Pause on Mortgage Payments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have allowed homeowners with mortgages owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the disaster areas to temporarily stop making monthly mortgage payments in three-month intervals for up to 12 months. In addition, when there was a temporary stop, homeowners were not assessed late fees, did not have the temporary hold reported to credit bureaus, and did not have to catch up on all payments at once. In response to a letter from 15 advocacy organizations, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is now encouraging mortgage servicers that they can tack on the missed payments during the pause at the end of the mortgage period. Fannie Mae’s Lender Letter LL-2017-09 introduces the Extend Modification for Disaster Relief (Extend Mod) and provides additional guidance.
  • VOA’s Project Esperanza Assisting People in Puerto Rico. In an effort to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Volunteers of America (VOA) staff have been traveling in shifts to Puerto Rico to stay for approximately one week to organize and distribute water and other supplies donated by generous supporters. There is a great need for basic supplies such as diapers, over-the-counter medicines, tooth paste and soap, etc. Donations to Project Esperanza are needed to purchase and transport such basic daily necessities.
  • Four Job Opportunities with Texas Housers. Texas Housers is looking for four talented and dedicated people to work for housing justice. The four positions are:

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES 

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/9)

  • 3,859 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $9,673,930 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $6,332,234 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,341,696 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 11/9)

  • 225,519 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $125,396,142 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $20,961,970 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $104,434,172 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $426,489,708 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 11/9)

  • 3,107 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $3,038,106 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,200,849 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,837,257 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $10,912,004 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

Local Perspective

Florida Governor Increases Coordination to Assist Puerto Ricans with TSA. Florida Governor Rick Scott directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to activate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to Level 2. This activated the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) to enhance coordination between federal, state, and local emergency management agencies. The action was in response to FEMA offering Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) to Puerto Rican families in Florida. Florida had already been approved as a FEMA Host State on October 5, to coordinate delivery of resources at the Miami and Orlando international airport Disaster Relief Centers in order to assist more families with services such as crisis counseling, educational resources, job placement services, medical services, and to help people obtain housing and drivers licenses.


HURRICANE IRMA 

FEMA 

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 11/9)

  • 736,199 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $899,739,894 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $618,077,080 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $281,662,813 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 11/9)

  • 8,925 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,048,281 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,777,267 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,271,014 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 11/9)

  • 859 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,917,498 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,002,435 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $915,064 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 11/9)

  • 3,886 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $5,888,156 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $3,686,640 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,201,516 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $25,567,068 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

Seminole Tribe of Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 11/9)

  • 2 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,542 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $2,542 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed. 

Local Perspective

Law Clinic Sues for D-SNAP Disability Accommodations. Florida residents seeking Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) have endured extremely long lines and prematurely closed application sites. Last week, the University of Miami Health Rights Clinic sued Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) for not adequately providing for people with disabilities. Advocates repeatedly requested DCF seek a waiver from USDA to allow elderly or disabled people to apply by telephone. 


HURRICANE HARVEY 

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/9)

  • 347,474 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,364,272,504 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,061,580,371 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $302,692,133 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $478,212,770 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $415,274,645 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

Advocates Press for Fair Housing Action. The Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TxLIHIS) sent a letter to HUD on October 31 demanding HUD take immediate action to examine the validity of current civil rights certifications made by the City of Houston and the Houston Housing Authority (HHA). On January 11, 2017, HUD determined that the City violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, citing evidence of intentional racial discrimination and perpetuation of segregation. The TxLIHIS letter presents additional evidence to support HUD’s obligation to reject the City’s and HHA’s subsequent certifications that they are complying with not only Title VI, but also the Fair Housing Act and Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.

Since HUD’s January determination, HUD has failed to deliver a draft Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) to outline a path for the City to voluntarily comply. TxLIHS wrote that if HUD provides a VCA by November 15, TxLIHIS will not sue HUD. In addition, HUD and the City must demonstrate concrete progress toward concluding a VCA by November 30. If HUD and Houston do not take corrective action, any CDBG-DR Houston might receive, as well as its regular annual Entitlement CDBG allocations and other HUD financial assistance might be at risk.

TxLIHS asserts that any VCA should address all issues identified in HUD’s January letter. A VCA must also include training of elected and appointed officials on addressing and resisting discriminatory community opposition to the siting of affordable housing. A VCA must identify areas of segregation and outline remedial steps, including a robust housing mobility program that provides incentives to owners to accept Housing Choice Vouchers in all parts of Houston. A VCA must also identify additional actions that will remediate the City’s practices with respect to siting of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing, and require incentives for developers to ensure that any newly constructed LIHTC housing is located in Census tracts with a poverty rate less than 20%.

State Funds for Debris Removal. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas House and Senate leaders announced the approval of $90 million in emergency funding for debris removal caused by Hurricane Harvey. Although FEMA provides federal financial assistance for debris removal, city and county governments are still responsible for 10% of those associated costs. This allocation at the state level will help ease the financial burden for local governments.