Additional Updates on Disaster Housing Recovery - May 14

The following is a review of additional housing recovery developments related to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the California wildfires since last week’s Memo to Members and Partners (for the article in last week’s Memo, see 5/7). NLIHC also posts this information at our On the Home Front blog.

General Updates

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the “Rural Disaster Recovery Act of 2018” (S. 2767), which includes a provision to create a new program to help communities recover when FEMA does not grant Individual Assistance (IA). The proposed program would help with shelter, food, and other recovery services.

FEMA has released a strategic plan for 2018-2022. The plan has three main goals: build a culture of preparedness; prepare the country for disasters; and reduce the complexity of FEMA. The public can submit questions, comments, and feedback.

Hurricane Maria


FEMA granted an unconditional final extension of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program for survivors of Hurricane Maria through June 30. FEMA will also offer transportation back to Puerto Rico for interested families participating in TSA on the continental U.S.

FEMA and the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources will introduce an updated version of The Stronger Home Guide on May 16. This is the first update since 1996.

Local Perspective

The Puerto Rico Planning Board is requesting public comment on new FEMA flood maps. The maps will help Puerto Rico better implement mitigation techniques. The public can provide feedback regarding these maps either by email or mail.

Hurricane Irma

Local Perspective

Thousands of Floridians with disabilities were denied access to Hurricane Irma Disaster-SNAP benefits because they were unable to attend in-person interviews. A new settlement will allow these individuals to apply for benefits by participating in phone interviews. The Florida Department of Children and Families has contacted many of these individuals to alert them of their new eligibility.