The application period for the fiscal year 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs opened on September 30. For FY21, $1 billion is available for the BRIC grant and $160 million is available for FMA. The application period closes on January 28, 2022. Learn more here.
Reporting and Advocacy
The DC Line reports that, as extreme weather intensifies across the county, increased flooding and excessive heat in Washington, D.C. disproportionately harm unhoused individuals and people of color. The United States’ disaster recovery system is broken and in need of reform, says NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian. The article highlights the DHRC and its recommendations for improving the disaster recovery system.
Texas Housers, joined by several community organizations, submitted comments to the Texas General Land Office regarding the CDBG Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds and the Amendment 1 proposal. The initial CDBG-MIT Action Plan did not award funds to the largest and most impacted jurisdictions, which disproportionately denied these funds to Black and Latino residents. The new amendment continues this pattern, failing to meaningfully address the clear and historic needs of the communities most impacted by disasters and most at risk.
More than 7,000 Terrebonne and Lafourche households have registered for temporary housing through the state of Louisiana’s Hurricane Ida Sheltering Program, a program offering travel trailers and other temporary housing for residents displaced by Ida. Parish officials and residents have criticized FEMA for acting far too slowly to address the needs of thousands of residents whose homes were destroyed by the hurricane.
Residents of two apartment complexes in Hammond are in limbo after receiving eviction notices because of damage from Hurricane Ida and then having those notices rescinded. At the Terrace Apartment complex, damage from Ida is visible everywhere you look. The complex has also been unclear on if their water and electricity will continue through the week. Many residents don’t have the money to move out but also cannot live in substandard conditions.
Revised preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are available for review by residents and business owners in portions of the city of Houma and unincorporated areas of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Learn more here.
In Northern California, fire crews worked to contain a fire that destroyed 25 mobile homes, 16 RVs, and a park building at the Rancho Marina RV Park in Sacramento County. Five mobile homes were damaged by a fire that swept through a mobile home park in San Joaquin County.
Between 1,500 and 2,000 people were displaced in Talent due to the 2020 fires that destroyed an estimated 600 homes, many in low-income Latino neighborhoods. High Country News reports the city of Talent is working to provide stability to children displaced by wildfires through a new initiative: providing long-term affordable housing in the local school district. There are currently 53 temporary housing units available for local families who are not eligible for FEMA aid, with priority given to households with school-aged children. Families will start moving into the transitional housing this month.
The Coalición Fortaleza is a Latino-led, intergenerational coalition of community members, leaders, volunteers, and organizations in the Rogue Valley that formed in the aftermath of the Almeda Fire. The organization advocates for the Latinx community that lived in manufactured home parks and federally funded apartment complexes impacted by the Almeda Fire. The Coalición Fortaleza is working to ensure that rebuilding efforts do not recreate the systems that have kept their communities in poverty and without access to life-saving information and resources.
Marketplace seeks to answer the question: how quickly can communities recover from wildfires? A new report from CoreLogic finds that Wyoming and Idaho would likely take the longest to recover from a major wildfire that destroyed a large portion of homes due to the underdeveloped state of the housing market in those states.
While less populated, states with fewer affordable housing units face more prolonged wildfire recovery risks, according to a new CoreLogic report. When analyzing wildfires through the lens of available affordable housing, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada face the most risk for prolonged wildfire recoveries.
Residents and California Utility PG&E are at odds over the company’s three-month-old initiative to automatically shut off powerlines when they are touched by tree branches. While the initiative has anecdotally led to a decrease in fires, the program has also caused sudden blackouts that leave residents without power for hours.
Grist examines the growing wildfire housing crisis in California. Instead of simply stopping building homes in fire-prone areas, most state and local policies prioritize fixing burned homes, enacting stricter building codes, and improving evacuation routes. And as wildfires have increased in intensity and frequency, many insurance companies have started refusing to renew policies for at-risk homes – forcing many low-income renters to live uninsured.
NLIHC’s Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) is a group of over 850 local, state, and national organizations working to secure disaster recovery funding and key reforms to ensure every survivor, including those with the lowest incomes and those most marginalized, receives the assistance they need to fully recover and ensure that their communities can withstand future disasters. Read the DHRC’s full list of priorities here.
To find out more and get involved with the effort to approve disaster recovery funding and pass DHRC-supported reforms, join our Disaster Recovery Working Group that meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3 pm ET. If you haven’t joined already, become a member of the DHRC!