NLIHC and the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) of more than 800 local, state, and national organizations sent a letter on February 6 to the congressional leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees about FEMA’s repeated failure to address the housing needs of low-income disaster survivors. The letter calls on the committees to hold oversight hearings to examine the agency’s repeated failure to address the housing needs of the lowest-income disaster survivors - including people with disabilities, seniors, families with children, and those experiencing homelessness prior to a disaster - and to work with advocates and other stakeholders on much-needed reforms.
Hurricanes Michael and Florence and the California wildfires in 2018 destroyed or damaged nearly 150,000 homes. Several months after these disasters took place, far too many low-income survivors are still struggling to meet their most basic need: a safe, affordable place to call home. At least 50 people in Chico, CA, are still struggling to find safe places to live after the last emergency shelter closed on January 31. Hundreds of survivors of the Camp Fire living in cars and trailers on a shelter’s parking lot were forced to leave if their vehicles did not meet certain standards or they were unable to pay daily fees. About 500 families in the Florida Panhandle are still living in tents while they wait for FEMA trailers.
“On behalf of NLIHC and the DHRC, I call on the Senate Homeland Security and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees to hold FEMA accountable for its failure to meet the basic housing needs of people with the lowest incomes,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “We urge you to hold oversight hearings to examine the agency’s repeated neglect of low-income survivors’ housing needs and to formulate and implement reforms to ensure equitable housing recovery is provided to all survivors of these and future disasters.”
Read the DHRC letter at: https://bit.ly/2Dca6Yi