Additional Updates on Disaster Housing Recovery – August 20

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 8/13). NLIHC also posts this information at our On the Home Front blog.

Federal Response


The Puerto Rican government submitted a recovery plan to Congress on August 8 that estimated the cost for reconstruction at $139 billion. This estimate is almost twice as much as the island’s government reported in November, 2017. Governor Ricardo Rosselló stated that “all the initiatives have the purpose of making us stronger and resilient, while guaranteeing a long-term economic recovery.”


The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced on August 16 a final 30-day extension of its foreclosure moratorium for FHA-insured homeowners in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. FHA also offers several other mortgage relief options for FHA borrowers.

HUD will host a Multifamily Housing Tax Credit Workshop to discuss developing affordable housing following Hurricane Maria. The workshop will be held in San Juan, PR, on August 21.


FEMA’s Core Advisory Group Disability Integration Team is hosting seven briefings across Puerto Rico to identify issues and barriers for people with disabilities. Meetings will include a variety of stakeholders and take place in various locations. Check here for more information.

FEMA published a fact sheet for survivors of Hurricane Harvey currently living in FEMA-provided temporary housing units (THUs).

Local Perspectives

Hundreds of families displaced by Hurricane Maria still lack viable housing options. This article from the Washington Post shares stories of some of these survivors and why the options FEMA provided did not work for Puerto Ricans.

The Houston Bar Foundation and Houston Volunteer Lawyers held four free legal advice clinics in various locations on Saturday, August 18.

Already one of the poorest communities along the Texas Gulf Coast before Hurricane Harvey, Port Arthur has struggled to recover following the storm. Funding for recovery has been slow to reach the community, particularly since the Texas General Land Office focused initial funding on Houston.