The House of Representatives may vote in November on bipartisan legislation to permanently authorize HUD’s Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. The bill includes key reforms to the program recommended by the NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) of more than 850 organizations to help ensure that federal disaster recovery efforts reach all impacted households. NLIHC and the DRHC urge all advocates to call their representatives and ask them to vote in support of H.R. 3702, the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act.”
CDBG-DR provides states and communities with flexible, long-term recovery resources needed to rebuild affordable housing and infrastructure after a disaster. By formally authorizing the program, the bill would help ensure the recovery process is administered consistently and that dollars can flow more quickly to communities in need. In addition, the bill includes important measures to ensure scarce resources are targeted to families and communities with the greatest needs, requiring states to allocate resources equitably between housing and infrastructure priorities and among homeowners, renters, and people experiencing homelessness. By directing the HUD Office of Inspector General to oversee program outcomes, the bill would help ensure CDBG-DR delivers on Congress’ intent to serve all eligible survivors. The bill would also make data available to the public about the impact of the disaster and how resources are spent, which would help promote transparency, allow effective public participation in the development of state recovery plans, and help state and local governments, philanthropic organizations, and researchers better identify critical gaps in services.
The bill, introduced by Representatives Al Green (D-TX) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), passed out of the House Financial Services Committee this summer with unanimous support. See NLIHC’s factsheet on the bill at: https://bit.ly/2XDJyfD