OPW Signs on to Disaster Recovery Recommendations

To Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker of the House Ryan, and Minority Leader Pelosi:

We, the undersigned organizations, write as part of a Hurricane Housing Recovery Coalition to express our commitment to ensuring that federal housing recovery and rebuilding efforts are complete and equitable for all individuals and communities impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. We represent national, state, and local organizations, including many working directly with impacted communities in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and with first-hand experience recovering after prior disasters. As you work to administer federal disaster relief, we urge you to make certain that federal disaster recovery resources reach all impacted households, including those with the lowest incomes who are often the hardest-hit by disasters and have the fewest resources to recover afterwards. While the road ahead for recovery after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria will take many years, there are a number of steps Congress can take now to jumpstart the recovery and assist low income households and communities. Our recommendations (enclosed) include:

• Providing sufficient housing recovery funds and cost-effective measures to ensure that all households – including homeowners, renters, and those who were experiencing homelessness before the disaster – receive the affordable housing assistance they need for as long as they need;

• Directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to quickly enter into a Mission Agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) so that HUD can stand up a Disaster Housing Assistance Program to administer a disaster voucher program (DVP);

• Playing an active oversight and reporting role to ensure that federal resources are allocated fairly and adequately to meet the needs of low income people and communities;

• Ensuring that the lowest income households can fully benefit from federal disaster housing resources and have meaningful choices over where to live and opportunities for work – free from discrimination; and

• Safeguarding federal investments by protecting against future disasters and promoting better coordination among federal agencies. Thank you for your attention and consideration of these recommendations. Members of the Hurricane Housing Recovery Coalition will follow up soon to discuss these recommendations in more detail.


Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness

Find a full list of signers here: Congressional-Disaster-Recovery-Recommendations_092017

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