The “Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018” has passed the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, despite significant flaws with the bill. NLIHC’s Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) is deeply concerned that the bill authorizes states to administer disaster housing assistance programs, without providing sufficient oversight and safeguards to ensure that the housing needs of disaster survivors are met. For this reason, DHRC opposes these provisions in the bill and urges Congress to instead activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program.
While the bill requires states to submit housing strategies for approval by the president, it provides no standards that state housing strategies must meet for approval or disapproval. The bill indicates that states must have a “demonstrated ability” to manage disaster housing programs, but provides no guidance on how this will be determined. It does not require states to collect and make public data relating to program outcomes or how federal dollars are spent.
NLIHC will continue to engage members of Congress on this legislation, which may go to the Senate floor for a vote in the coming weeks. The House already passed its version of the bill, including these harmful provisions.
See the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition letter opposing these harmful provisions at: https://bit.ly/2KoNlWQ