The House Financial Services Committee approved on June 7 the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2018,” (HR 4557) permanently authorizing the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) of more than 700 organizations strongly supports HR 4557 and commends Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) for introducing the bill.
The Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2018 includes a number of measures recommended by the DHRC to help ensure that scarce resources are available to low income disaster survivors and communities that face the greatest recovery needs. The legislation would require states to allocate resources equitably between housing and infrastructure priorities and among homeowners, renters, and people experiencing homelessness. The bill would maintain the requirement that 70% of CDBG-DR funds must benefit low and moderate income communities and would set clearer direction to HUD on when it can adjust this requirement. By directing the Office of Inspector General to oversee program outcomes, the bill would help ensure that CDBG-DR delivers on Congress’s intent to serve all eligible survivors. The bill would make public data on the impact of the disaster and how resources are spent, promoting transparency, allowing effective public participation in the development of state recovery plans, and helping state and local governments and philanthropic organizations better identify critical gaps in services. The authorization bill would also help Congress ensure that the recovery process is administered consistently and that dollars flow more quickly to communities in need.
Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) offered amendments to improve the bill, each of which were passed by committee, to: prioritize the one-for-one replacement of federally subsidized affordable housing that is damaged or destroyed; and require communities to create a credible plan for meeting their fair housing obligations.
Watch the committee vote at: https://bit.ly/23X4pol
Read the NLIHC and DHRC press release supporting the bill at: https://bit.ly/2JBwShj
Read Representative Wagner’s press release at: https://bit.ly/2HvGaGK