Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Monday, February 12, 2018

General Updates

Disaster Aid Passed. Congress passed a disaster relief bill on February 9. While the bill provides $28 billion in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds and other important financial resources, it does not include important housing resources and tools–such as the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP)–or safeguards to ensure federal resources are allocated equitably. The full DHRC/NLIHC press release can be found here. Governors Scott (FL), Abbott (TX), Rosselló (PR), and Mapp (USVI) all issued press releases thanking Congress for the additional federal funding.


HURRICANE MARIA

Local Perspectives

TSA Causing Uncertainty. Puerto Ricans in hotels face uncertainty as an end to assistance approaches for about 200 families. In total, 4,000 Puerto Rican families are utilizing FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program, but some are losing their assistance before the general March 20 deadline. FEMA is ending assistance for families whose homes in Puerto Rico have been deemed habitable, although those decisions are often appealed.  Puerto Rican families on the mainland struggle to find jobs and long-term housing but know that the situation back on the island will not be much better. Puerto Rico evacuees and local communities are preparing for the end of assistance in Philadelphia, PA, Holyoke, MA, and other cities across the country.

MA Housing Resources for Puerto Rico Evacuees. MassLegal Services has helpful documents for advocates and Puerto Rican families that explain their rights and other resources.


HURRICANE IRMA

Local Perspectives

Debris Removal in the Florida Keys. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) will assist Monroe County with clean-up and removal of marine debris caused by Hurricane Irma. DEP will provide $6 million and oversight of the cleanup, and FDEM will help Monroe County apply for FEMA reimbursements, which will then go back to the state.

FEMA Basics Webinar. FEMA, the State of Florida, and other partners are hosting a webinar, “FEMA Program Basics Training.” The training is on February 20 from 9 am to 12 pm EST and will include information on FEMA appeals, Small Business Administration, how to request FEMA applicant information, and more.


HURRICANE Harvey

Local Perspectives

The Texas Comptroller released a special edition of Fiscal Notes that examines the financial impact of Hurricane Harvey. The storm destroyed nearly 200,000 homes, caused $670 million in damage to public infrastructure, and contributed to $200 million in crop and livestock losses. The report demonstrates the positive effects of recovery efforts and increased construction activity on the state’s economy and includes mitigation proposals such as reservoirs, city/regional planning, and updated flood plain maps.

The area around Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange, Texas–also known as the Golden Triangle–continues to struggle with recovery, particularly low-income residents. A quarter of these residents were displaced, and nearly half requested assistance when applying for FEMA. Community leaders and groups are working hard to advocate for the community and ensure that those with the lowest incomes and highest need do not slip through the cracks.

Texas Action Plan Analysis. Texas Housers’ blog has been analyzing the Texas state action plan for spending almost $60 million in federal funding. They discuss the plan’s specific housing proposals, the importance of looking to past disasters for guidance, the prioritization of certain communities, and more. The last day for comments on the State Action Plan is tomorrow. Below are some recent highlights from the blog.

Infrastructure Projects. Texas Housers released a report analyzing the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas’ October Request for Federal Assistance Infrastructure Projects. Its analysis finds that this list of 281 infrastructure projects totaling $61 billion in funding is a “seemingly random list of projects that are nor prioritized” and underrepresents Texas communities with known disaster needs. Texas Housers found major inconsistencies in how projects were selected and ask the General Land Office (GLO), responsible for administering these grants, not to take the Governor’s Commission request at face value.

Buyouts. The GLO proposes using $35 million for buyouts in Harris County (where Houston is located), but buyouts need careful planning and community engagement to avoid high prices or mostly vacant neighborhoods. Buyout programs also need to be transparent, accessible, and holistic to ensure low-income households receive sufficient funding to find a new home. Additionally, the immediate needs of families should supersede mass buyouts.

Fair Housing. Despite major fair housing lawsuits against the State of Texas and local city governments, the GLO makes no concrete plans in its plan for affirmatively furthering fair housing. In its comments, Texas Housers makes several recommendations to GLO on how to better comply with fair housing laws and promote opportunity and equity: collect and share data that can help identify disparities; incorporate provisions from previous conciliation agreements; provide mandatory training to cities and counties; ensure the needs of low-income people are met first; and more.


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

One Boston Family Gets New Opportunities Thanks to the RAFT Program

By Kat Feliciano, Metro Housing|Boston

 

KAT photo

Kat Feliciano, Housing Supports Operations Administrator at Metro Housing | Boston

People often ask me to describe the typical family that we assist. In truth, no families are alike. Circumstance, personalities, challenges, disabilities, job prospects – all of these lead to very different stories.

After experiencing homelessness and living in her car with her two children, Sharon was grateful to have finally found a place to live in late 2017. That feeling of gratefulness would not last, however. The owner of the building that Sharon and her family were staying failed inspection for code violations. The landlord was given multiple chances to bring the apartment to code but failed to do so. Rather than making the necessary repairs, he told Sharon she needed to move out. 

With Christmas approaching, Sharon struggled to find a safe and decent place to live and was fearful that she would be spending the holiday in her car. When she visited our offices in mid-December, I knew I had to act quickly because she was just weeks away from being evicted.

When families are about to be evicted from their homes, or when they are behind on rent or electricity or heat, or when they need help to move to a place near family to help care for a sick family member – while their stories are different – there is one solution they have in common.

Since 2013, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has funded a homelessness prevention program called RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition). Metro Housing|Boston administers the program for 29 communities in eastern Massachusetts. In 2017, we helped 1,474 families – some like Sharon’s – stay securely in their homes.

I filed an emergency RAFT application and Sharon was approved. I was able to get her moved into a better apartment with her and children before Christmas with an apartment that was habitable for her and didn’t put her at a health risk.  The RAFT funding was able to cover the first and last month rent, plus security deposit.

The help that Sharon and her family needed is among the most common among families since the program’s beginning – first and last month’s rent and security deposits – behind rental arrearages. Statistics suggest that Sharon won’t need RAFT assistance again – fewer than 4% of families who received RAFT last year had received assistance the previous year.


Who qualifies for RAFT?

To qualify, your income should be at or less than 50 percent of the area median income ($46,550 for a family of three in Boston) and have a dependent child under the age of 21 or are pregnant and the head of household.

Reasons can include:

  • Eviction. Have received a court summons or are already involved in the court process.
  • Foreclosure. Notice from mortgage lender stating their intent to foreclose.
  • Doubled-up at a friend or family member’s house and have been asked to leave.
  • Violence or abuse in the household.
  • Utilities are at risk of being shut off or have been shut off.

I was very happy that I was able to get such a quick turnaround for a family that thought they were never going to be able to move because they couldn’t afford first and last month rent plus security, even while saving every last penny.


Read More About Metro Housing|Boston’s Homelessness Prevention Program at: http://nlihc.org/article/field

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sign-on Request Several groups have been working to organize civil rights comments to the Texas Plan for Disaster Recovery and are asking that you sign on in support of these.

To read the letter and sign on, CLICK HERE.  The deadline for signing on is COB, Monday, February 12.

Texas’ plan will serve as a benchmark of sorts for how future disaster recovery plans for Hurricane Harvey will be drafted.  Many of the civil rights issues identified in the Texas plan may also arise in the disaster recovery plans that other affected areas put together going forward as HUD continues to make funding allocations.  Advocates must do all that we can to ensure that the civil rights concerns identified in Texas’ plan are addressed and that HUD takes seriously the civil rights responsibilities of its funding recipients as well as its own role in monitoring their use of funds.


General Updates

HUD posts Federal Register A HUD Exchange email sent Tuesday afternoon provided an advance copy of the long-awaited Federal Register notice that directs how Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are to use their allocations of the $7.4 billion CDBG-DR funds appropriated on September 8, 2017. That advance copy was posted Wednesday morning as a Special Filing to the Public Inspection webpage of the Federal Register. The formal version is scheduled for publication Thursday.

This Federal Register notice is similar to one published for flooding disasters on November 21, 2016. The regular CDBG law’s requirement that at least 70% of the funds be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income people is retained; the Federal Register notice does not waive that crucial provision. However, as in the past, the current notice reduces the public review and comment period of a state’s draft Action Plan from 30 to 14 days, despite advocates’ urging to maintain at least 30 days. The notice also requires each grantee to primarily consider and address its unmet housing recovery needs. NLIHC has prepared a preliminary summary. The intent of this summary is not to provide a comprehensive summary. For example, it does not present all of the important requirements pertaining to the Action Plan, public participation, and reporting. Instead, it points out changes in text or raises provisions that were in the 2016 notice that might be of concern to advocates

Budget Deal Includes Disaster Aid. The Senate reached a budget agreement that lifts the spending caps and provides disaster aid. If approved, Congress will be able to avoid a government shutdown when the current FY18 Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on February 8. A short-term CR is likely still needed to allow the Appropriations Committees to finalize FY18 funding bills with the new spending caps. The deal includes a total of $90 billion in disaster aid: $23.5 billion for FEMA Disaster Relief Fund; $28 billion in CDBG-DR, including $2 billion for Puerto Rico and the USVI to rebuild their electric grids; $15 billion for Army Corps; $4.9 billion in Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico and USVI with a 100% federal cost share; and $2.36 billion to provide disaster assistance for Florida citrus and other agricultural losses. The Senate may vote on the agreement as early as this afternoon, but passage in the House is uncertain.

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle had stressed the need for disaster recovery as part of a budget deal. Senator Bill Nelson sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling on them to include disaster aid addressing the specific needs of Puerto Rico as part of any continuing resolution (CR) passed this week. Senator Nelson called for aid that included funding for Puerto Rico’s electric grid, waivers for federal cost shares, and resources to address the island’s Medicaid funding cliff, all of which were included in the Senate budget deal.

DHRC Urges Disaster Aid. More than 340 national, state and local members of the DHRC issued a letter to congressional leaders urging the immediate passage of a robust disaster relief bill that includes basic safeguards and housing resources to help vulnerable populations recover and rebuild after the 2017 hurricanes and wildfires. The letter urges Congress to amend the House-approved disaster relief bill to stand up the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP), to collect and make public data to ensure that the recovery reaches all households, and to provide housing-specific resources to ensure that the severe shortage of affordable rental homes in disaster-impacted communities is not exacerbated. Please share NLIHC’s press release and continue to urge Congress to amend and pass the disaster supplemental spending bill.

Request to Subpoena FEMA. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI), members of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter urging Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to subpoena FEMA regarding a contract they made that failed to deliver the requested 30 million emergency meals in Puerto Rico. FEMA awarded a $156-million contract to deliver 30 million meals to Tribute Contracting, a one-person company. After twenty days, only 50,000 meals were delivered. The company had failed to fulfill previous government contracts that were much smaller. Members of the committee had requested in October documents from FEMA to determine the reasons for and effects of the contract.


CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

October Wildfires

By the Numbers: (as of 2/7)

  • 4,395 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $14,876,711 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,108,023 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $5,768,688 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $77,651,212 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

December Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows, and Debris Flows

  • By the Numbers: (as of 2/7)
  • 528 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,976,723 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $2,645,063 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $331,660 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.


HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 2/7)

  • 418,744 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $991,931,067 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $539,396,966 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $452,534,102 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $508,349,191 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 2/7)

  • 9,964 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $32,128,594 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $21,774,956 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $10,353,639 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $254,393,614 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $246,114,362 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $865,704 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

Informal Housing in PR. Even before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico faced housing challenges. About half of the island’s 3.4 million residents lived in informal homes, constructed without permits or following building codes. To simply reimburse for the lost property would only encourage the rebuilding of substandard housing, but to “build back better” will require a massive investment, especially because the majority of destroyed homes lacked hazard or flood insurance. Governor Rosselló is asking for $46 billion from HUD–an amount far greater than any previous allocations–since the government’s billions of dollars in debt limits their ability to fund recovery.


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 2/7)

  • 770,737 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $984,609,147 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $680,159,759 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $304,449,389 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $14,018,031 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $1,603,946 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $44,787 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 2/7)

  • 9,341 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $13,227,203 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,751,470 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,475,733 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $2,224,357 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $1,528,461 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $144,895 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 2/7)

  • 1,280 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,968,023 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,537,993 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,430,030 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $3,891,330 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 2/7)

  • 8,128 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $30,931,635 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $22,047,078 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $8,884,557 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $4,429,729 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $4,407,184 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.

Local Perspectives

Appealing FEMA Decisions. Legal Services of Greater Miami has helped several residents in the Florida Keys appeal their FEMA decision or insurance claims. It has helped individuals obtain rental assistance and money for lost personal property, despite initial denials from FEMA. The nonprofit’s services are free to those qualifying under income limits.


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 1/31)

  • 369,971 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,547,911,725 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,174,022,845 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $373,888,881 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $598,164,301 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $534,483,761 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $742,415 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.


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

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Monday, February 5, 2018

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

  • A FEMA update from February 1 states that 10,742 individuals are participating in FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program throughout 40 states and Puerto Rico.

HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

  • PA Grants in USVI. FEMA has approved more than $138 million in additional grants for restoration of electric power and removal of debris in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  One hundred million of the Public Assistance (PA) funding is for power restoration, and the remaining $38 million is for debris removal.

Local Perspectives

Florida State Housing Trust Fund. The Florida Senate’s budget proposal spends all of the available funding in the state housing trust fund for affordable housing and advances legislation protecting the money. For the past decade, the Florida Legislature has swept funds out of the trust fund to use for other priorities. While the House decided to sweep more than half of the funds out of the trust fund, the Senate recognized the substantial need for affordable housing in Florida, especially following last year’s Hurricane season.

Recovery Numbers. A representative of Florida’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) reported the following numbers during a Florida Housing Coalition Hurricane Member Update on February 2.

  • 319 FEMA travel trailers (and no more expected) in Florida
  • 62 Hurricane Irma survivor households are participating in the Direct Lease program in Florida
  •  1,940 Hurricane Irma survivor households participating in FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program (vouchers set to expire on February 10)
  • 1,420 Hurricane Maria survivor households (with 4,009 members) participating in TSA program in Florida
  • 6,771 Hurricane Maria survivor households (with 14,549 members) registered a Florida address with FEMA
  • 10,363 children from Puerto Rico and 892 children from the U.S. Virgin Islands enrolled in Florida public schools (as of January 9)

HURRICANE Harvey

Local Perspectives

FEMA Figures. The Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas’ latest update includes the following numbers regarding the recovery effort in Texas. All figures are as of January 31.

  • 599,737 FEMA inspections completed
  • 1,755 homes have received free repairs through the General Land Office’s PREPS program with another 7,158 in the process
  • 1,587 families have been housed through the Direct Housing Program
  • 9,505 households are participating in FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program

Recovery Plan Workshop. The Texas Rural Leadership Program is hosting a workshop on February 10 in Victoria, Texas, to help communities affected by Hurricane Harvey develop long-term recovery plans. The workshop is part of the Texas Rural Leadership Conference, which begins February 9.

Restrictions Suspended. The Houston City Council voted on January 31 to suspend restrictions against people living in trailers, RVs, and shipping containers on their property. Thousands of Houston residents are still displaced following Hurricane Harvey, and the lift on restrictions will open housing options for survivors.

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

General Updates

State of the Union. Last night, President Trump gave his first State of the Union Address. Several members of Congress tried to highlight Puerto Rico’s continuing struggle with recovery by bringing Hurricane Maria survivors as their guests. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) brought Omar Miguel Nieves Delgado, a 33-year-old dancer who left San Juan for Queens following Hurricane Maria. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) invited San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz as her guest.  During his address, the president failed to outline his plan to address one of the most pressing challenges facing low income survivors of the recent hurricanes and wildfires: the need for longer term, stable, safe places in which to live while they get back on their feet. President Trump addressed disaster victims by saying “we love you,” instead of offering solutions to provide survivors of 2017’s hurricanes and wildfires with affordable housing. It has been five months since the first hurricane made landfall, and the Trump administration has still not taken steps to stand up the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) to help the lowest income families find longer-term housing solutions, secure employment, and connect to public benefits as they rebuild their lives. Without DHAP, tens of thousands of families are still living in hotels through FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance program and low income families that have been shut out of the hotel program have had no choice but to move into uninhabitable or overcrowded homes, stay at shelters, or sleep in cars or on the streets. Read NLIHC’s full statement of the State of the Union address here.

Ending FEMA Assistance. Although a third of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity and, in some cases, running water, FEMA announced on January 30 that it would end emergency food and potable water shipments the following day, Wednesday, January 31. However, the agency reversed its decision today. FEMA had originally supported their decision to end shipments with internal estimates showing that only about 1 percent of islanders still needed emergency food and water. In the town of Morovis, however, Mayor Carmen Maldonado reports that a third of the town’s residents still receive FEMA rations.  The government of Puerto Rico released a statement that it was unaware shipments of food and water would end so soon.  The reversal follows outcry from members of Congress and officials in Puerto Rico. On the Senate floor on Tuesday, January 30, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) stated he was “absolutely shocked” by FEMA’s decision, which he called “unconscionable and a travesty.” He urged the Administration to reverse the decision, stating, “FEMA needs to continue to provide food and water to the island until, at the very least, all of the island has access to potable water and electricity.” He and fellow Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) also urged the Senate to pass much-needed disaster aid, which the House passed in December 2017. Other members of Congress, including Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), also denounced FEMA’s decision.

Bill to Help Small Businesses. The Small Business Access to Capital After a Natural Disaster Act (HR 4792) passed the House by voice vote on January 29. The bill expands existing provisions for small businesses in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that will provide additional resources for small businesses affected by natural disasters. Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), the sponsor of the bill, stated, “FEMA estimates that nearly 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. Therefore, developing strategies to drive private capital to a community’s small business is one of the most efficient uses of private sector capital and one of the most effective ways we in the federal government can help an area recover.”


CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

October Wildfires

By the Numbers: (as of 1/31)

  • 4,383 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $14,786,603 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,049,943 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $5,736,659 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed. 

December Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows, and Debris Flows

By the Numbers: (as of 1/31)

  • 423 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,970,819 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,735,196 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $235,623 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed. 


HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 1/31)

  • 418,744 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $968,878,473 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $525,226,664 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $443,651,810 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $508,309,141 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 1/31)

  • 9,728 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $30,679,060 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $20,720,428 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $9,958,632 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $235,570,751 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $227,503,662 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $653,541 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.

Houses of Worship. Private nonprofit houses of worship can apply for Public Assistance (PA) through February 16. FEMA changed the policy regarding PA eligibility on January 2, so the deadline has been extended to allow these organizations to apply.

Local Perspectives

Puerto Rico Debt. Puerto Rico officials estimate that the damage wrought by Hurricane Maria will prevent them from paying down any of their debt for the next five years. The Puerto Rico government currently owes more than $70 billion.


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 1/31)

  • 770,337 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $982,981,726 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $678,740,213 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $304,241,512 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $14,018,031 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $1,603,946 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $44,787 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

Houses of Worship. Private nonprofit houses of worship can apply for Public Assistance (PA) through February 15. FEMA changed the policy regarding PA eligibility on January 2, so the deadline has been extended to allow these organizations to apply.

Georgia

By the Numbers: (as of 1/31)

  • 9,332 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $13,205,095 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,732,998 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,472,097 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $2,224,357 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $1,528,461 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $144,895 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 1/31)

  • 1,273 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,939,940 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,521,361 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,418,580 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $3,891,330 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 1/31)

  • 7,994 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $29,914,968 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $21,314,059 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $8,600,909 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $4,429,729 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $4,407,184 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.

Local Perspectives

FL Hardest Hit Fund. Applications for the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, Mortgage Loan Reinstatement Payment, and Principal Reduction programs are due on January 31. These funds are part of the Department of Treasury’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets, which provides funding to states hardest hit during the housing crisis.

Case Management Grants. Volunteer Florida is accepting applications for the provision of disaster case management services to support Hurricane Irma recovery. The $27 million in grant funding comes from FEMA to help local organizations work with survivors to develop individual disaster recovery plans. Disaster case management simplifies the recovery process by providing survivors with a single point of contact. Applications are due February 16.


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 1/31)

  • 369,583 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,542,206,900 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,170,436,430 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $371,770,470 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $597,040,381 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $533,359,841 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) obligated**
  • $742,415 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

Economic Development Support. The U.S. Economic Development Association, International Economic Development Council, and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service are partnering together to provide economic development assistance to communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Volunteer experts with experience in disaster recovery provide support to local governments during the recovery process.

Houston Recovery. A PBS Newshour special highlights the housing struggles families continue to face following Hurricane Harvey. Thousands of Texans remain in temporary housing while they find more permanent housing solutions. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner estimates about 4,300 Houstonians are still living in hotels while they wait for FEMA assistance.


Read other Disaster Housing Recovery Updates at: http://nlihc.org/issues/disaster