Additional Updates on Disaster Housing Recovery – August 13

The following is a review of additional housing recovery developments related to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the 2017 California wildfires since last week’s Memo to Members and Partners (for the article in last week’s Memo, see 8/6). NLIHC also posts this information at our On the Home Front blog.

Federal Response


As a result of the successful advocacy of Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) partners in Puerto Rico, survivors of Hurricane Maria who do not have formal titles to their homes can now use alternative documentation to prove homeownership when applying for FEMA disaster assistance. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Robert Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Brock Long urging him to broadly publicize the newly approved documentation. Senator Menendez’s office also issued a press release, with a quote from Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO, and DHRC partner Ayuda Legal Huracán María released a statement that provides additional details about the new alternative documentation.


Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversees FEMA, visited Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to evaluate ongoing hurricane recovery efforts. She met with FEMA employees and state and local government officials, including Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

State Action

The Texas General Land Office (GLO) announced a $45,980,638 allocation of CDBG-DR funds to rehabilitate, reconstruct, and construct affordable multifamily rental housing damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Proposals for long-term disaster recovery projects in affected counties are due by October 23.


The Housing Assistance Council released a 2018 California Wildfires Disaster Guide Supplement to their Picking Up the Pieces: Restoring Rural Housing and Communities After a Disaster.