Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Congress

  • The conference committee created to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills met today. The DHRC sent a letter to the conference committee and all other congressional offices outlining the DHRC’s concerns about the possible impact on disaster recovery. The committee is expected to finish their work this week, with votes in the House and Senate next week.
  • The next disaster supplemental could be included as part of a larger legislative package at the end of the year or early January. The DHRC is continuing to urge the appropriations committees to include the DRHC’s top priorities. Read the DHRC’s top priorities for the next supplemental here.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 12/13)

  • 4,259 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $13,495,432 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,385,942 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $5,109,490 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

Local Perspective

  • State Recovery Website. The State of California and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services created a website with resources for survivors and local governments to aid in the recovery process.
  • SoCal Fires. The wildfires in Southern California have now destroyed more than 1,000 structures with at least 95,000 evacuees.

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 12/13)

  • 326,751 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $555,823,051 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $285,957,883 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $269,865,168 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $453,389,436 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.

  • Direct Lease. Property owners have enrolled over 3,000 housing units in FEMA’s Direct Lease program, which provides temporary rental assistance to survivors.

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 12/13)

  • 7,256 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $18,626,750 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $15,099,016 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,527,734 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $113,017,738 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.


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 12/13)

  • 757,518 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $952,756,081 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $655,750,078 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $297,006,004 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $479,226 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

  • Long-Term Housing Plan. FEMA requires survivors who have been placed in a FEMA-provided housing unit to provide evidence of progress toward long-term housing plans. Evidence can include invoices for repairs and other options determined by an individual FEMA caseworker. FEMA re-evaluates eligibility every 30 days.

Georgia

By the Numbers: (as of 12/13)

  • 9,105 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,641,900 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,275,897 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,336,002 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.

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 12/13)

  • 1,172 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,564,506 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,309,402 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,255,104 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.

**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 12/13)

  • 6,532 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $18,208,379 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $14,989,457 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,218,922 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $4,173,996 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $4,151,451 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.


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 12/13)

  • 359,766 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,475,922,847 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,134,347,764 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $341,575,084 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $502,344,847 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $439,406,722 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

  • Houston Demands DHAP. Houston residents gathered outside of City Hall demanding the adoption of the disaster housing assistance program (DHAP). Individuals shared stories of being forced to live in unsafe housing conditions without alternative options that could be provided through programs like DHAP. They also distributed Christmas cards during a city council meeting that read, “All I want for Christmas is safe, affordable housing.”
  • Potential Foreclosures. Homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgages following Hurricane Harvey. Some are choosing to sell just to get enough money to pay mounting bills. Certain officials are predicting an increase in foreclosures.

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Monday, December 11, 2017

CONGRESS

  • Calls are needed in advance of Wednesday’s Conference Committee on tax reform legislation. The NLIHC delivered a letter to members of the conference committee.  It raises concerns that proposals in the tax reform bill could impact disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and the Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma and with the wild fires in California.  A final bill is expected to go before each chamber for a vote next week before Congress adjourns for the Christmas break. Contact your members of Congress today and tell them to vote no on any tax reform legislation that would explode the debt by giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy, worsen our nation’s affordable housing crisis, and jeopardize disaster housing recovery.
  • Senators Request Investigation. A group of seven Senators sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security’s Acting Inspector General John Kelly on December 5. The letter called on Kelly to investigate the $30 million contract with Bronze Star to supply tarps following Hurricane Maria. Although FEMA has terminated the contract, the Senators requested information on FEMA’s decision-making process for the Bronze Star deal.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

  • New Emergency Declaration. President Trump signed an Emergency Declaration on December 8 for five counties in southern California. This declaration makes federal emergency aid available to assist state and local response efforts. The covered counties are Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.  The President’s action authorizes FEMA to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

  • FEMA Assistance Deadline Extended. The deadline has been extended to January 8 for survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands to register with FEMA. The registration deadline has been extended to individuals and families to apply for grants for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. FEMA encourages everyone affected by to register for assistance.
  • Direct Leasing in USVI. FEMA has authorized Direct Leasing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Direct Leasing program allows FEMA to rent housing units directly from private owners to provide survivors with housing. FEMA also pays for utilities as part of the agreement. The agency is currently seeking properties that meet their safety standards.

Local Perspectives

  • Incomplete Death Count. Although the official death count in Puerto Rico is 64, others estimate as many as 1,052 have died as a result of the storm. Many of these deaths are due to lack of power, inability to access health services, and greater exposure to infection.
  • Conditions for Older Residents. Three months after Maria, only 60% of the power grid load in Puerto Rico has been restored. The lack of power is especially difficult for older residents and those with medical conditions. The situation at the island’s largest housing project for low-income seniors demonstrates those difficulties. Residents have fallen, accidentally ingested poison in the dark, and missed medical appointments because of closed roads.

HURRICANE IRMA

Local Perspective

  • Direct Housing in FL Keys. An update from the Monroe, FL County Emergency Management office states that 160 households in the county are staying in FEMA Direct Housing. This includes 139 households with travel trailers and 21 households in direct-lease properties. Monroe County includes the Florida Keys, which was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Irma.
  • Keys Recovery. Residents in the Keys continue to struggle with finding housing after Hurricane Maria. While some have received FEMA assistance, others receive nothing, even after four FEMA inspections. Even if a household does obtain FEMA funding, the costs for rebuilding manufactured housing–the main source of affordable housing in the area–to new, higher standards is expensive.

HURRICANE HARVEY

Local Perspective

FEMA Figures. The Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas’s latest update includes the following numbers regarding the recovery effort in Texas. All figures are as of December 6.

  • 1,037 requests for FEMA Public Assistance have been received from jurisdictions.
  • 894,220 FEMA Individual Assistance application has been received.
  • 13,000 households are participating in FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program.
  • 587,098 FEMA inspections have been completed.

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Wednesday, December 6, 2017

General Updates

  • Letters to Governors. As you know, Governors from impacted states will play a critical role in shaping the next disaster supplemental, which will likely be tied to a final spending bill near the end of the year. All organizations – and especially those located in impacted areas – are encouraged to share the national sign on letter with their networks by Friday, December 8. The letter urges the Governors of each disaster-impacted state to formally request DHAP and other critical housing and community development resources, including a special allocation of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, national Housing Trust Fund, HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds, and New Markets Tax Credit. Because the letter is in line with the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition’s comprehensive set of recommendations, we are asking DHRC members to let us know if they would like to opt-out of the letter. You can find more information here: https://nlihc.wufoo.com/forms/encourage-governors-to-demand-dhap/
  • December 6 Summary of Known Deadlines.NLIHC has updated its summary of known application deadlines from the FEMA website. The summary includes deadlines for programs administered by FEMA, SBA, DOL, SNAP, and HUD.

CONGRESS

  • Letter to OMB. On December 1, thirty-two members of the Florida and Texas congressional delegations sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney expressing their “strong dissatisfaction with the utterly inadequate disaster supplemental appropriations request from the OMB.” Earlier that day, the bipartisan group of representatives met to discuss how to use their leverage to increase disaster funding in the third supplemental.

HUD

  • Voucher Portability. HUD will target $15 million to help public housing agencies (PHAs) in disaster areas that have experienced significant increases in Housing Choice Voucher portability costs. Portability is the term that refers to a household with a voucher moving from (“porting”) the area of a PHA that provided the voucher (the “initial PHA,” such as Puerto Rico) to use their voucher in another area where the voucher program is operated by a different PHA (the “receiving PHA,” such as Orlando, Florida). This targeting policy was announced in Notice PIH 2017-26 on December 5.

The source of this money is a $75 million set-aside in the FY17 Appropriations Act. Initially, HUD limited access to the set-aside for PHAs anticipated having insufficient voucher funding to renew existing vouchers (a “shortfall”), which would have resulted in the termination of households’ voucher assistance. HUD indicates that it has provided all of the shortfall funding thought needed. Hence, the remaining $15 million set-aside is being targeted to “initial PHAs” in disaster areas to cover their increased portability costs.


CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 12/6)

  • 4,208 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,791,906 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $7,989,540 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $4,802,367 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.


HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 12/6)

  • 278,602 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $350,578,354 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $192,531,539 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $158,046,815 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $452,344,286 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

Housing Fact Sheet. A FEMA fact sheet lists housing options available to survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico who are unable to return to their homes because they are uninhabitable or inaccessible. With only a few exceptions, application deadlines are in March 2018 and include resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration, HUD, and USDA.

  • Direct housing resources include Tu Hogar Renace (Your Home Reborn), Transitional Shelter Assistance, Direct Lease, Multi-Family Lease and Repair (MLR), and Voluntary Agencies in Leading and Organizing Recovery (VALOR).
  • Financial resources for housing comprise the Individuals and Households Program (IHP), Other Needs Assistance (ONA), Rental Assistance, Home Repairs, Low Interest Disaster Loans, Immediate Foreclosure Relief, Mortgage Insurance and Home Rehabilitation, and USDA Loan Programs.
  • Human Services Programs offer Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and Disaster Legal Services (DLS) with January and September 2018 deadlines, respectively.

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 12/6)

  • 6,717 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $16,709,325 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $13,979,634 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,729,691 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

HUD 

  • HUD Visit to PR. HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Patenaude is joining members of the HUD Disaster and Recovery and Long-Term Housing Team on a trip to Puerto Rico this week. The trip will allow HUD officials to meet with key stakeholders to better understand the island’s recovery needs.

HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 12/6)

  • 751,546 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $944,297,214 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $651,323,142 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $292,974,072 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
  • FEMA extends TSA to January 6 for Florida. On Friday, December 1, FEMA issued a news release stating that Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida receiving Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) may get an extension to stay temporarily in hotels while they look for an alternative place to live. Eligibility is extended from December 3 to January 6, with hotel checkout on January 7. Participants in the program will receive a phone call regarding their eligibility for the extension. Hurricane Irma survivors who may be eligible but are not currently in the program are notified automatically.

Georgia

By the Numbers: (as of 12/6)

  • 9,082 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,569,867 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,233,773 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,336,094 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 12/6)

  • 1,138 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,468,393 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,265,034 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,203,359 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 12/6)

  • 6,329 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $17,159,106 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $14,390,024 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,769,082 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

HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 12/6)

  • 357,536 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,456,374,923 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,124,005,002 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $332,369,921 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $502,344,847 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $439,406,722 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

HUD

  • FHA Public Awareness Campaign. HUD and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) launched a public awareness campaign informing homeowners of resources to avoid foreclosure and finance repairs. In a press release, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the “goal [of the campaign] is to give owners of damaged FHA-insured properties the time needed to focus on repairing their homes.” Those struggling to make payments should contact their services to discuss assistance resources. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) extended its foreclosure moratorium through February 21, 2018.

 Local Perspectives

  • Rebuild Texas Commission Update. As of November 29, the Texas Commission to Rebuild Texas reports that 891,988 individual assistance applications were received, 13,110 households were sheltering in hotels through FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, and more than 2,800 manufactured housing units, travel trailers and non-motorized recreational vehicles, were being installed or had been turned over to displaced families.
  • Lack of Drinking Water. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reports that more than 3,700 people near the Texas Gulf Coast have not had access to clean drinking water since Hurricane Harvey. Water-boil notices have remained in effect for more than three months for these coastal communities.
  • Report on Harvey Impacts. A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) examines the impact of Hurricane Harvey on different racial and ethnic groups as well as geographic region. The researchers found that Black and Latino residents were more likely to suffer from property damage and loss of income as a result of Hurricane Harvey. However, white residents received assistance at a higher rate than people of color. The report also discusses new and worsening health conditions as a result from a lack of care.  KFF also conducted a survey that found two-thirds of residents across 24 counties in Texas suffered financial or property damages as a result of Hurricane Harvey. One in nine of these residents remains displaced.  Forty-five percent of those who suffered losses say they are not getting the recovery help they need, and 42% percent say they are not confident recovery funds are going to those most in need.
  • Lessons from Dolly. Although Hurricane Dolly hit south Texas nearly a decade ago, ensuing troubles in the small town of Port Isabel can offer several lessons for Harvey recovery. Following Dolly, Texas Appleseed filed a law suit against the city for violating the Fair Housing Act and other civil rights laws by delaying the reconstruction of public housing with mostly Latino residents. These events remind us that funds earmarked for recovery need to be disbursed quickly and efficiently and renters need to be prioritized for funding. Additionally, the events in Port Isabel demonstrate that city officials need to ensure they are treating all residents equally.

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Thursday, November 30, 2017

CONGRESS

  • FEMA Funding Hearing. The Subcommittee on Homeland Security for the House Appropriations Committee held an oversight hearing regarding FEMA supplemental appropriations. FEMA Administrator Brock Long was the sole witness. Mr. Long answered questions regarding FEMA’s response to the recent disasters as well as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s new request for additional disaster supplemental funding. In his opening remarks, Representative John Culberson (R-TX) criticized the OMB’s request, calling it “deeply upsetting” for not including funds to address “the largest housing disaster in the history of the United States of America.” Mr. Long acknowledged that “housing is going to be the most difficult mission.” Representative David Price (D-NC) asked Mr. Long why FEMA had not yet made an agreement with HUD to administer the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP), which has been used after several disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy. Mr. Long did not directly address the use of DHAP, but did say he was in daily conversations with HUD. He held up Texas and the state General Land Office as a model of disaster housing recovery. He also explained that the current OMB request does not include funding for California because money from the normal appropriations for FEMA’s disaster relief fund should cover the costs. If needs continue to be unmet, he will request more funding to ensure communities are able to recover.

USDA

  • Restoration of Water Systems. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the award of two $500,000 grants to restore water systems damaged by recent disasters. The National Rural Water Association (NRWA) and the Rural Communities Assistance Partnership (RCAP) will use the grants to provide training, technical assistance, onsite repairs, and utility management advice for utilities serving 10,000 people or less. Grant money will also help rural utilities apply for FEMA assistance and increase resiliency against future disasters.

JOB OPPORTUNITY

  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is looking for a Disaster Recovery/Resiliency Manager based in Houston to help LISC Houston affiliates conduct outreach to residents in affected areas and connect them with public and private services and financial support; conduct community assessments; strengthen partnerships with local government agencies, federal agencies, and other first responders and service delivery agencies; and address housing and other community needs. The job description is here.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/30)

  • 4,159 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,270,756 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $7,758,009 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $4,512,747 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.


HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/30)

  • 251,831 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $230,910,923 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $123,615,211 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $107,295,712 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $446,886,960 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 11/30)

  • 5,686 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,367,125 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $10,292,815 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,074,310 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 Perspectives

  • Florida Resources. Florida Governor Rick Scott issued updates on resources Florida has devoted to aid in Puerto Rico’s recovery following Hurricane Maria. Resources include centers to help evacuees from Puerto Rico register for federal assistance and find local support. The Florida state government is also exploring what resources they can send to Puerto Rico.
  • Puerto Ricans in Florida Schools. Since Maria, more than 7,200 students from Puerto Rico have enrolled in Florida’s K-12 public schools and another 800 in state colleges. Education leaders said a lack of affordable housing is presenting challenges for those who have been displaced.
  • Tarp and Sheeting Contract. Following Hurricane Maria, FEMA signed a contract worth $30 million with a newly created company based out of Florida, Bronze Star LLC, to provide emergency tarps and sheeting for damaged homes in Puerto Rico. Those supplies were never delivered, prompting FEMA to terminate the contract. The owners of Bronze Star say that they were unable to obtain the tarps because most of the raw materials came out of Houston, which was dealing with response to Hurricane Harvey. FEMA has signed a new contract with OSC Solutions, Inc., which has about two decades of federal contracting experience, and tarps should now be available.
  • Poverty Rate Increase. A recent study from the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey found that poverty on the island has increased from 44.3% to 52.3% following Hurricane Maria, an increase of 8%.

HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 11/30)

  • 750,164 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $938,077,430 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $645,903,847 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $292,173,583 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 11/30)

  • 9,066 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,528,498 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,197,565 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,330,933 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 11/30)

  • 1,108 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,388,541 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,226,910 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,161,631 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 11/30)

  • 6,069 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $14,838,125 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $12,286,443 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,551,682 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

HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/30)

  • 355,873 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,438,307,886 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,114,329,064 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $323,978,822 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $497,724,109 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $434,785,984 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.

  • Nearly 400 Households in Travel Trailers. FEMA reports that 394 households have been placed n travel trailers through the “direct housing” program administered by the Texas General Land Office (GLO). Another 446 units are ready for occupancy and 531 additional units are ready for electric hookup.

 

  • 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

  • Recovery Complications. During a roundtable discussion with local leaders on Tuesday, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said that efforts to move survivors into temporary housing were complicated by the availability and price of temporary housing units. Officials also expressed apprehension regarding preparedness for future storms since the approval process for mitigation can sometimes take years.
  • Lone Star Legal Aid Awarded $300,000. Lone Star Legal Aid received a $300,000 grant as part of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, administered through the Greater Houston Community Fund. Lone Star Legal Aid was chosen as one of the ninety local nonprofit organizations that will provide services to Houston and Harris County flood victims. The grant will support the addition of staff to Lone Star Legal Aid’s disaster relief team. These new staff members will assist in the short- and long-term legal issues survivors will face, including relocation and transitional housing, home repair scams, insurance claims and appeals, property rights, title-clearing, property related probate and tax problems, and a large number of FEMA appeals.
  • Houston Housing Authority. Tory Gunsolley, CEO and president of the Houston Housing Authority (HHA), published an opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle that explains the extent of the affordable housing crisis following Harvey. The majority of HHA properties were damaged following Harvey, and Mr. Gunsolley promises to replace and expand affordable housing in the area.

Disaster Housing Recovery Update, Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CDBG-DR FOR FLORIDA

  • HUD Announces $616 Million CDBG-DR for Florida. On November 28, HUD announced that Florida would receive $615, 922,000 in CDBG-DR. This amount is based on data from FEMA and SBA on the number of seriously damaged homes that lack adequate insurance and businesses that fail to qualify for SBA disaster loans. The media release stated that additional grants to other jurisdictions impacted by disasters in 2017 will be announced as more data become available. $7.4 billion in CDBG-DR was appropriated for 2017 disasters; Texas was granted a little more than $5 billion (see the November 20 Disaster Housing Recovery Update). The Administration has only requested $12 billion more for CDBG-DR, only for flood mitigation to be awarded according to a competitive arrangement that seems to greatly favor Texas (see the November 20 Disaster Housing Recovery Update). HUD is expected to publish a Federal Register notice guiding the use of these CDBG-DR funds, perhaps next week.

CONGRESS

Bernie Sanders Recovery Proposal. Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled a $146 billion recovery plan to help rebuild Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The plan includes $62 billion to help the debt-ridden Puerto Rican government; $51 billion for economic development; $27 billion for infrastructure; and more for education and environmental remediation. This plan is far greater than the Trump administration’s, which designates very little of the total $29 billion for Puerto Rico. The bill prioritizes rebuilding the islands’ power grids for renewable energy.

A media release from Senator Sanders includes a summary and text of the bill. It also indicates that in addition to addressing debt relief and resilient and renewable energy, the bill would address Medicaid and Medicare parity, repair and rebuild VA hospitals, and improve childcare facilities and schools. The Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act is cosponsored in the Senate by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA) Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Reps. Stacy Plaskett (D-V.I.), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.) will introduce a companion bill in the House. The bill is endorsed by 75 organizations.


ANALYSIS OF PUERTO RICO FEMA DATA

NLIHC Analyzes FEMA Data for Puerto Rico. NLIHC has analyzed FEMA’s Individuals and Household Program data for Puerto Rico. The analysis covers both Hurricanes Irma and Maria and includes an interactive visualization. Unlike NLIHC’s previous analyses of Hurricane Harvey registrants in Texas and Hurricane Irma registrants in Florida, which showed a disproportionate share of renters over homeowners requesting assistance, the data from Puerto Rico show homeowners and renters are requesting assistance proportionate to their populations.

Registrants in Puerto Rico, however, generally are far more likely to have low incomes than registrants in Texas and Florida. FEMA’s IHP data do not include registrant incomes, but estimates of the income distribution of registrants can be made by assuming their incomes reflect the income distribution of their ZIP codes. Fifty-two percent of owner registrants and 77% of renter registrants in Puerto Rico have annual incomes less than $25,000. By comparison, 16% of owner registrants and 37% of renter registrants in Texas have incomes less than $25,000, and 20% of owner registrants and 40% of renter registrants in Florida earn less than $25,000. Furthermore, 21% of owner registrants and 46% of renter registrants in Puerto Rico have annual incomes of less than $10,000. In short, a substantial number of Puerto Rican registrants, particularly renters, live in deep poverty.


HUD MULTIFAMILY UPDATE

  • HUD Multifamily Update. HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing continued its practice of providing periodic updates on the status of private, HUD-assisted housing in the disaster areas. For Texas, Florida, and Georgia HUD has completed its assessment of all private, HUD-assisted properties and is now in the recovery phase. HUD reports:
    • Texas: 51% of private, HUD-assisted properties had no damage, 36% had minor damage, 4.6% had moderate damage, and HUD could not assess 8% of the properties.
    • Florida: 30% had no damage, 55% had minor damage, 10% had moderate damage, 1% had severe damage, and HUD could not assess 1% of the properties.
    • Georgia: 77% had no damage, 11% had minor damage, 3% had moderate damage, and HUD could not assess 8% of the properties.

For Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, HUD is still in the assessment phase, which has two components: 1) preliminary assessments based on telephone conversations, and 2) on-site assessments. The on-site assessments are just beginning. Three HUD Multifamily damage assessment teams deployed to Puerto Rico on Sunday to begin assessing the damage at private, HUD-assisted properties; another four teams will deploy next Sunday. One team will deploy for the Virgin Islands on December 10. Based on the telephone assessments:

  • Puerto Rico: 1% of the private, HUD-assisted properties had no damage, 45% had minor damage, 47% had moderate damage, and 5% had severe damage.
  • Virgin Islands: 5% had no damage, 29% had minor damage, 23% had moderate damage, and 41% had severe damage.

For the California wildfires, HUD’s Multifamily office has completed all preliminary assessments and reports that 4% of the private, HUD-assisted properties had minor, smoke damage.

HUD will continue to make Section 8 payments to the owners of the HUD-assisted housing through January. Most properties were able to submit electronic requests for subsidy reimbursement for November, despite the spotty availability of electricity. For properties unable to electronically submit for reimbursement, HUD urges owners to contact the Field Office or Headquarters so that the owners can complete paper reimbursement forms.


TEXAS HOUSERS

Texas Housers Job Opportunity. Texas Housers is seeking a fair housing, community development, and environmental justice co-director to lead their new South Texas regional office.


CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

FEMA

By the Numbers: (as of 11/28)

  • 4,141 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,097,480 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $7,662,944 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $4,434,536 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

  • Amendment Number 7. The notice of a major disaster declaration was amended to include permanent work under the Public Assistance program (Categories C-G).

Local Perspective

  • Resource for Undocumented Immigrants. Farmworkers, particularly undocumented workers, have been hit particularly hard by the recent wildfires. An estimated 38,500 undocumented immigrants live in Sonoma County and were facing a plethora of other struggles even before the fires. Many undocumented workers affected by the fires do not apply for FEMA assistance, fearing that their information will be shared with immigration agents or because they lack required identification to cash a check. Local groups started UndocuFund to help provide relief specifically for undocumented residents.

HURRICANE MARIA

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 11/28)

  • 244,655 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $199,407,780 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $93,581,053 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $105,826,727 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $446,886,960 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 11/28)

  • 5,169 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $10,948,799 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $8,956,266 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,992,533 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 11/28)

  • 749,430 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $934,781,274 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $643,059,493 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $291,721,781 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 11/28)

  • 9,051 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $12,480,844 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $9,151,261 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $3,329,582 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 11/28)

  • 1,079 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $2,338,657 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,181,280 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $1,157,378 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 11/28)

  • 5,924 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $14,292,960 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $11,790,109 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,502,850 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

Local Perspectives

  • Keys Housing Recovery. On Wednesday, November 29, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners will be holding a meeting to discuss housing recovery strategies. The meeting will present on the structural damage in the Keys as well as discuss the Monroe County Housing Strategy Document and potential comprehensive recovery plans. A full agenda found here.
  •  D-SNAP by Phone. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) can now conduct phone interviews for D-SNAP with senior applicants and applicants with disabilities. The new policy comes after a federal lawsuit claiming that the DCF had not made proper accommodations for those with disabilities. If an applicant registered online before November 9, they can be interviewed by phone to receive benefits. For background, see the November 9 Disaster Housing Recovery Update.

HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 11/28)

  • 355,209 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $1,431,564,272 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $1,109,988,633 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $321,575,639 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $497,724,109 Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated**
  • $434,785,984 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 Perspective

Effects on People with HIV. The flooding from Hurricane Harvey has caused additional hardship for those with HIV. Some people lost their medicine in the flooding and were unable to refill prescriptions for weeks while they waited for pharmacies and clinics to reopen. Others were unable to obtain their medicine in other states after evacuating their flooded homes. Those with HIV have high risks of infection from weakened immune systems, so many are worried about potential contaminants in the flood waters.