Additional Disaster Housing Recovery Updates - September 9, 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 9/3).

Federal Action & National News

Mother Jones published an article calling for radically rethinking our approach to disaster recovery. Specifically, the article examines the RAPIDO project, championed by Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) member and NLIHC state partner Texas Housers. The RAPIDO project creates recovery housing that is inexpensive to build, customizable, structurally sound, and easy to install.

A new analysis shows that small towns and tribal areas have a much more difficult time receiving FEMA Individual Assistance than larger, more urban areas.

As disasters become stronger and strike more often, litigation and legal theories surrounding insurance payments and tort lawsuits dealing with their effects are becoming more complex.

President Trump displayed an early National Hurricane Center graphic charting Dorian’s prospective path that appeared to have been doctored by a black sharpie. The modification seemed to have been intended to extend the “cone of uncertainty” into Alabama, in line with the president’s earlier tweets hoping for the state’s safety during the storm.

California Wildfires

Insurance payments for temporary living expenses are set to end for survivors of California’s 2017 North Bay wildfires, leaving many still without permanent homes unsure of what to do.

Checks from PG&E’s wildfire restitution fund are beginning to go out to wildfire survivors.

Contentious state legislation removing environmental regulations in Butte County, the location of the Camp Fire, was approved by the California State Senate. Some see such regulations as impeding housing recovery.

Hurricane Michael & Hurricane Dorian


A timely hurricane expo in Hernando County addresses recovery and resilience.

Some evacuees are considering permanently relocating as the recovery from Hurricane Michael pushes on.

Some think the disaster response to Hurricane Dorian will not mollify Puerto Ricans who fled to Florida after Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Florence & Hurricane Dorian

North Carolina

As the Carolinas issued mandatory evacuation notices for coastal areas, those unable to evacuate prepared to ride out Hurricane Dorian.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper activated the NC National Guard and issued evacuation notices ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival on Thursday.

Community groups in North Carolina prepared to apply lessons learned from Hurricane Florence to Hurricane Dorian, as it approached the state.

The arrival of Hurricane Dorian frustrated the efforts of some communities still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Dorian.

Some residents are claiming the evacuation orders issued in South Carolina came much too quickly and did not allow residents to adequately prepare for the storm.

2017 Disasters

The mayor of the Puerto Rico city of Ponces estimated that the reconstruction of the area will cost as much as $392 million.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner promised to streamlined recovery in the city following the effects of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.