Additional Updates on Hurricane Housing Recovery

Hurricane Maria

FEMA

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (as of 9/28)

  • 13,832 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $6,916,000 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $6,916,000 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

The initial disaster declaration was amended to include an additional 25 areas as eligible for Individual Assistance (IA).

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (as of 9/28)

  • $10,510,000 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) dollars obligated**

**Funds made available to the State via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

President Trump authorized an increase in the federal cost-share to 100% for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal cost-share will decrease to 90% (instead of a 75% federal cost-share) after 180 days.

USDA

Displaced households receiving benefits from Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) can apply for SNAP benefits in the areas where they are currently living without closing their current case in Puerto Rico. USDA has advised all SNAP state agencies to serve NAP households using regular SNAP eligibility rules, including expedited procedures that enable them to obtain an eligibility decision within seven days. The policy is in effect until October 31. USDA has also allowed recipients of NAP to utilize their funds for prepared foods, such as sandwiches, pizza, or soup, which are generally not covered by food assistance.

A local organization in Puerto Rico, the Movement to Achieve Independent Living (MAVI), is conducting a study of the needs of individuals with disabilities that remain in shelters to better compile available resources. Groups can join their efforts by emailing MAVI’s director. There is also an app that helps coordinate efforts and resources.

Local Perspectives

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló approved a moratorium on public housing rent payments until January. He also reported that an estimated 10,000 people remain in shelters.

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the opening of Disaster Relief Centers to assist households from Puerto Rico displaced by Hurricane Maria at the Orlando and Miami airports and the Port of Miami. The Governor also signed Executive Order 17-259 to provide Florida resources to assist households displaced from Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria who arrive in Florida.

Hurricane Irma

FEMA

Florida

By the Numbers: (as of 10/5)

  • 674,032 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $695,625,385 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $457,323,328 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $238,302,057 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • *Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

President Trump authorized an increase in the federal-cost share to 90% from 75% for debris removal and emergency protective measures in Florida for 30 days.

Faith-based organizations as well as other community, volunteer, and nonprofit organizations in areas eligible for FEMA Public Assistance (PA) may also apply for FEMA grants. Organizations must first apply for a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Eligible organizations include private schools, hospitals, utilities, senior citizen and other community centers, food programs, education enrichment activities, day care services, disability residential services, assisted living, low income housing, homeless shelters, rehabilitation services, and performing and community arts centers.

Georgia

By the Numbers: (as of 10/5)

  • 7,764 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $8,713,974 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $5,991,633 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,722,340 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • *Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

The initial disaster declaration is amended to allow permanent work (Categories C-G) under the Public Assistance (PA) program for all of the counties affected by Hurricane Irma. These counties were previously eligible for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B).

U.S. Virgin Islands

The initial disaster declaration is amended to allow a 100% federal cost-share for Public Assistance (PA) debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance. Normally the federal cost-share is 75%.

Hurricane Harvey

FEMA

Texas

By the Numbers: (as of 10/5)

  • 307,913 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $896,844,108 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $669,955,793 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $226,888,314 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $323,886,760 Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated** all of which are for Emergency Work (Categories A-B)

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

**Funds made available to the state via electronic transfer following FEMA's final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

SBA

The Small Business Administration (SBA) reminds Texas private nonprofit organizations of the November 3 deadline to apply for SBA federal disaster loans for property damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Nonprofits of any size may apply for SBA federal disaster loans of up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. In addition, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help nonprofits meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury assistance is available regardless of whether the nonprofit suffered any property damage. Nonprofits have until June 4, 2018, to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Local Perspectives

Thousands of people lined up to apply for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (D-SNAP) at the Greenspoint Mall in Houston. After waiting in long lines on Monday, some overnight, many individuals were unable to submit applications because police dispersed the applicants when several people became unruly. Lines formed again on Tuesday as people stood in the rain to apply for D-SNAP, which can provide food assistance for up to two months.

Oxfam America utilized data on social vulnerability and hurricane impacts (both flooding and wind damage) to create maps showing how various communities were affected by Hurricane Harvey. The data are down to the census tract level and are grouped by congressional district. Oxfam released a report as well as the interactive maps.

Information from Other Organizations

Hurricane Support for Seniors Hotline

National Church Residences and LeadingAge have established a hotline for people over the age of 55 to answer disaster-related questions and make referrals.  The toll free number is 844-259-4747, and a web form is available at www.seniorhotline.org. In addition, the two organizations ask those with available housing to notify them at seniorhelp@nationalchurchresidences.org, indicating the name of the community or housing, address, rent amount, and willingness to provide short-term housing.

ADA National Network/FEMA Webinar Series

When people are displaced from their homes during a disaster and find it necessary to stay in a community shelter, it is essential that community officials, responders, and shelter managers are prepared to provide services and reasonable accommodations to all shelter residents, including those with access and functional needs. The ADA National Network will hold a webinar on Thursday, October 12 at 2:30 ET describing how a Functional Assessment Service Team (FAST) can help people get what they need to stay safely in a community shelter and assist them to return home as soon as possible. Register for the free webinar at: http://bit.ly/1vCVJTk

Center for American Progress Report

The Center for American Progress released a report detailing a “policy road map for Congress” with four priorities: build infrastructure to higher standards, update and utilize flood risk data, prioritize communities with fewer resources to rebuild, and plan ahead to lower risks and costs for future disasters.

Enterprise Community Partners Recovery Fund

Enterprise Community Partners has created the Enterprise Hurricane Community Recovery Fund to support short- and long-term relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Grants to nonprofit organizations engaged in short-term relief and recovery services support such activities as disaster case management, financial counseling, and mold remediation. Grants supporting longer-term rebuilding will support project planning, pre-development costs, and business continuity to ensure nonprofit organizations can operate over the long term. In addition, Enterprise and the National Center for Healthy Housing will update their how-to field guide, “Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide to Clean Up Flooded Homes." An October 5, 2:00 pm ET webinar will be held on cleaning mold out of flooded homes.

Grants to NeighborWorks Organizations

NeighborWorks America awarded 20 organizations in communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria with grants totaling $800,000. The nonprofits will use the grants to help meet any emerging on-the-ground needs, such as cleaning up properties, providing supplies to affected households, coordinating disaster response with other partners, supporting mobile intake centers, and rehab and repair efforts.