Additional Disaster Housing Recovery Updates – October 13, 2020

The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition stands ready to convene and support disaster-impacted communities to ensure that federal disaster recovery efforts reach all impacted households, including the lowest-income and most marginalized people who are often the hardest-hit by disasters and have the fewest resources to recover. 

General Resources & Events

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report 20-503: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen FEMA’s Individual and Households Program - September 2020

Hurricane Delta

Louisiana (EM-3547-LA)

Governor John Bel Edwards on October 7 requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump in advance of Hurricane Delta. President Trump on October 8 approved an emergency disaster declaration for Louisiana. The declaration authorizes FEMA to provide emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance for 41 parishes under the Public Assistance (PA) program. Additionally, FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures limited to direct federal assistance to 23 parishes under the PA program.

Hurricane Laura

Louisiana (DR-4559-LA)

The deadline to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance has been extended to October 30.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced more than 10,000 homes in southwest Louisiana were destroyed by Hurricane Laura, and 35,000 homes sustained “major damage.” According to Governor Edwards, more than 6,000 evacuees from Laura remain in hotels throughout the state, and another 2,000 remain in Texas.

A sea of blue tarps and damage in Lake Charles from Hurricane Laura can be seen in this video.

Hurricane Sally

Alabama (EM-3545-AL)

Hurricane Sally survivors in Baldwin County are frustrated with FEMA’s response and concerned that FEMA has denied many applications for assistance in south Alabama. According to FEMA, 42,000 survivors in Alabama have filed claims and 3,400 have been denied.

Florida (DR-4564-FL)

Santa Rosa County is now eligible for additional FEMA Public Assistance grants for recovery from Hurricane Sally. The major disaster declaration was amended to include reimbursement for all categories of PA.

Iowa Derecho (DR-4557-IA)

Homeowners and renters in Clinton County may now apply for FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) for losses resulting from the severe storms on August 10. The deadline for survivors to apply for federal assistance has been extended through November 2.

Wildfires in the West

A CNN opinion piece discusses why we must reevaluate how and where we build our homes given the increasingly destructive wildfires. Building affordable housing developments in areas known as the wildland-urban-interface puts lower-income people at higher risk of losing their homes and homelessness due to wildfires.

California (DR-4558-CA)

The deadline for survivors of the August wildfires to register with FEMA for individual disaster assistance and apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration has been extended to November 21.

The combination of the pandemic and unprecedented wildfire season is overwhelming Butte County, which was already facing an affordable housing crisis. The executive director of the Butte County Housing Authority shares about the lack of housing for the county’s large displaced population.