Consistent with agency efforts to ensure disaster-affected communities are made stronger and more resilient during the disaster recovery process, FEMA announced on June 10 that owners of homes damaged by disasters may now receive additional assistance from FEMA for specific mitigation measures. The additional funds, part of the agency’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP), will cover measures such as repairing roofs to withstand higher winds and prevent leaking; elevating water heaters or furnaces to avoid flood damage; and elevating or moving an electrical panel to avoid flood damage.
Funding will be provided only to homeowners who qualify for the IA and IHP assistance, which, according to the Washington Post, represent only 13% of all applicants for aid thus far in 2021. In addition, these mitigation measures are only provided for segments of a home already damaged by a disaster and are not proactively available. The additional assistance for mitigation measures will count towards the current Stafford Act limit for housing assistance, currently $36,000. The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition – an NLIHC-led group of over 850 local, state, and national organizations working to ensure all disaster survivors receive the assistance they need to recover – supports the “Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act” (H.R.3037) which would increase the number of documents acceptable to show ownership over disaster-damaged property and increase access to this new mitigation funding along with general repair assistance.
Read FEMA’s fact sheet on the new mitigation measures at: https://bit.ly/3wxnRv0
Read the text of H.R.3037 at: https://bit.ly/3brqKVL