NLIHC and more than 700 national, state, and local organizations in the NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition issued a press release on March 1 condemning FEMA’s continuing inaction on implementing proven, long-term housing solutions like the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) to assist the lowest income families displaced by the recent hurricanes and wildfires. FEMA’s continuing failure to prioritize solutions to help low income survivors secure safe, stable housing is compounded by recent and looming deadlines that abruptly end Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) for displaced Puerto Rican families in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and other states.
DHAP provides temporary rental assistance and wrap-around case management to low income families in need. The program helps the lowest income families find permanent housing solutions, secure employment, and connect to public benefits as they rebuild their lives. DHAP has been used effectively after previous disasters, but FEMA has so far been unwilling to enter into an agreement with the HUD to stand up the program.
Without longer-term housing solutions like DHAP, impacted families have resorted to doubling or tripling up with other low income families, sleeping in cars, paying at least half of their income on rent, or to returning to their uninhabitable homes on the island with just a few days’ notice. Nearly 10,000 families remain in hotels under FEMA’s TSA hotel program, and thousands more low income families have been unable to access TSA due to financial and other barriers, including the practice of hotels charging daily “resort” fees and requiring security deposits or credit cards, which the lowest income displaced households do not have.
Read the full press release at: http://bit.ly/2oxeiLO