Additional Disaster Housing Recovery Updates, August 26, 2019

The following is a review of additional disaster housing recovery developments since the last edition of Memo to Members and Partners (for the article in the previous Memo, see 8/19).

Federal Action

Climate change is worsening the country’s housing affordability crisis. Advocates are calling on Congress to pass the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHCR)-supported “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act” to better prepare for more frequent and heavier storms and wildfires.

An article in the Scientific American states that FEMA is having to respond to numerous smaller disasters, lowering its capacity to deploy to major disaster areas.

The price we pay for rising seas will only keep increasing, says a new study from the Center for Climate Integrity.

Midwest Flooding


The rural Village of Lynch's local government has struggled to finance its recovery and, with part of the village still a ghost town, funding for the estimated $2 million dollars in damage remains uncertain.


Sauk County is partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin River Area for the first time as they recover from $15 million of damage to homes and is still waiting for FEMA aid to reach the cities, towns, and villages in the county.

Midwest Tornadoes


Ohioans who survived the catastrophic tornadoes in and round Dayton earlier this year have just 2 weeks to apply for federal disaster assistance from FEMA and the Small Business Adminstration.

California Wildfires

Under recently publish guidelines, Californians would find it harder to qualify for Individual Assistance from FEMA. Some state advocates blame the federal government for assuming California is wealthy enough to pay for its own recovery.

Hurricane Michael


Some counties, such as Bay County, estimate a three- to five-year recovery from Hurricane Michael because the lack of housing has impacted  businesses’ ability to find workers.

Florida has set aside $75 million to purchase flood-damaged homes, allocating $10 million to the Keys alone.

Hurricane Florence

North Carolina

The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency and state housing finance agency have agreed to allocate $16.6 million for affordable housing projects in Fayetteville and Goldsboro. One such project is the McArthur II project, which will provide 80 new affordable homes.

Duke University held a conference about climate change and hurricane resiliency, focusing on the cumulative effect of poverty that hurricanes have on low-income communities and what can be done to mitigate impacts.

South Carolina

According to public records, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster hired a lobbying group to push for recovery funding after Hurricane Florence. The firm was paid $15,000 a month at taxpayers’ expense.

Representative Tom Rice (R-SC) and Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette toured recently rebuilt homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History was recently awarded $1.9 million to launch its Hurricane Irma Disaster Assistance Program to repair historic properties across the state.

2017 Disasters

Hurricane Maria: The director of the Puerto Rico Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience gave an interview to The Weekly Journal, saying the recent events in Puerto Rico will not affect recovery programs.

Hurricane Maria: In an op-ed in The Hill, Rosanna Torres, director for the Center for a New Economy Washington, DC, argues against the idea of appointing a recovery czar to coordinate Puerto Rican recovery.

Hurricane Irma: U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Albert Bryan Jr. is continuing to push back on allegations from HUD that the islands do not have the capacity to administer disaster recovery funding at this time.

Hurricane Irma: In the USVI, hurricane survivors, especially older Americans and those living with disabilities, feel left behind.