Disaster Housing Recovery Update: August 19, 2022

Congressional and Executive Action

  • In remarks to reporters in southeastern Kentucky, President Biden pledged that the administration will not be leaving after the floods and vowed to continue federal resources for “as long as it takes.”
  • Senator Cassidy (R-LA) spoke to the South Central Industrial Association in Gray, LA, and said that he is working on legislation to add a disaster aid package to a larger budget bill this fall. Senator Cassidy stated that he was looking to rework how FEMA deals with temporary housing after storms. "If it's going to take a year to get somebody into a home, don't give them a disposable house," Cassidy said. "Give them something that they can better afford but which anchors them to their community."
  • The Washington Post Editorial Board released an Op-Ed on August 6 supporting the permanent authorization of HUD’s Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR). Passing the bill that would do so, the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act,” is a major goal of the DHRC.  


  • Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear stated that FEMA was denying too many requests for assistance from the survivors of flooding in Kentucky. Following those comments, the Governor announced that FEMA provided employees at disaster recovery centers across eastern Kentucky the ability to approve claims from disaster survivors directly.
  • The Congressional Research Service released a report on hazard-resilient buildings and how building practices can sustain occupancy and function after a disaster.  
  • The Congressional Research Service released a report on how FEMA’s Individual Assistance program can and cannot be used during extreme heat waves.

State and Local


  • With $501 million in HUD long-term disaster recovery funds coming to south Alabama for hurricane relief, officials are trying to decide how the money will be spent.  


  • Two companies in Northern California are attempting to utilize their 3D construction printing processes to quickly create homes for those displaced by wildfires.


  • Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs is holding meetings to outline the allocation of HUD long-term recovery funding for rebuilding after the Marshall Fire and Straight Winds Event late last year.


  • Drawing on lessons learned after Hurricane Michael, southern churches are working together across denominations to prepare for future disasters.


  • In an excellent article in the Baffler, Tarence Ray posits that between abandoned mining industries, lost economies, and overzealous local police forces, even if a disaster like the Kentucky floods isn’t partisan, it is still very much political.
  • Political campaigns already in full swing across Kentucky have shifted some focus away from partisan attacks to helping victims of the Eastern Kentucky floods and emphasized unity.


  • HUDhighlighted efforts to assist Lafayette Louisiana in rebuilding after the catastrophic 2016 floods. By utilizing HUD programs such as the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR), the city was able to create a 105-unit housing complex in a former soda bottling plant.


  • President Biden approved Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to the severe flooding that impacted the St. Louis region in late July. The declaration includes FEMA Individual Assistance approval for St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County.


  • Two years after a derecho tore through Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas, repairs continue, with the city utilizing some of its federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.


  • Survivors of flooding in Whatcom County are still waiting FEMA assistance nine months after the event.

Resources and Research

  • A report released via the NOAA Weather Ready Nation initiative focuses on the lived experiences of individuals experiencing homelessness and risk communication before and during disasters. The report includes a plethora of insights both from individuals experiencing homelessness themselves as well as those in community-based organizations serving them.

If you have any items that you would like to see in these emails, please reach out to Noah Patton, [email protected]. As a reminder, the Disaster Recovery Working Group meets weekly on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm ET via Zoom. You can sign up for those meetings here.