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 1/06).
Federal Action & National News
FEMA released its annual National Preparedness Report for 2019. The document covers natural and man-made threats to the lives and property of Americans. Drought, sea-level rise, and climate change were not mentioned in the nearly 60-page document.
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides recommendations on how to make supply lines more resilient to disasters – ensuring food, medicine, and other essential goods reach disaster areas.
Winter snow and cold are not stopping efforts in the Midwest to recover from the damage of the 2019 flood season.
Davenport Iowa is looking at options to deal with the rising Mississippi River, which cuts through its downtown. The flooding experienced by the city in 2019 has added urgency to these deliberations.
Disaster recovery groups are looking for housing options in the Dayton area as the region recovers from tornados that damaged homes and businesses in 2019. Volunteers seek to repair and build homes for survivors.
Voluntary buyouts for homes damaged during the 2018 Kilauea volcano eruption will be offered using the nearly $84 million in recovery funding Hawaii received from HUD.
Tropical Storm Imelda & Hurricane Harvey
A bill in the Texas Legislature would help homeowners by lowering the amount of property tax they are required to pay on flood-damaged properties.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced it will invest more than $7.4 million through its Economic Development Administration in areas struck by the Tubbs and Camp wildfires during 2017 and 2018. The funds will pay for a disaster recovery manager in Paradise and construct a building-trades education center in Sonoma County.
JP Morgan Chase invested a half-million dollars into an affordable housing resiliency program in Tampa Bay. The two-year grant will fund the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s new Resilient and Energy Assessment of Communities and Housing (REACH) program.
Survivors of Hurricane Michael in Bay County have until April 11 to move out of FEMA-funded trailers. As the deadline approaches, many worry that without further housing assistance they will become homeless.
Hurricane Florence & Hurricane Dorian
When FEMA denied North Carolina’s request for a disaster declaration after Hurricane Dorian struck the Outer Banks, local nonprofits were forced to take on the recovery without federal assistance.
A federal investigation found that MLU, a Georgia-based disaster relief company, underpaid employees while they worked to aid recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence.
2016 and 2017 Disasters
Superstorm Sandy: A couple is still displaced from its home damaged during Superstorm Sandy, despite enrolling in the “Build it Back” program.