House Democrats Request Hearing on Disaster Recovery Best Practices

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) and other Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling to request a hearing on best practices that can help families regain their financial footing following natural disasters. The representatives requested the hearing explore how financial, real estate, and insurance policies can best respond to disaster recovery in a fashion that is quick and fair.

The letter states in part, “We know from previous disasters such as Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina that it can take years for families and often entire communities who have lost their cars, their property, their homes, their jobs, and tragically, even a loved one, to recover financially. These families and communities will also struggle to keep their small businesses open and provide for themselves and others. We also know that providing even just a modest amount of aid--whether financial or technical assistance--can make a huge difference to individuals and small businesses trying to get back on their feet. By contrast, excessive paperwork and delays owing to fear of fraud chokes recovery.

“[W]e would appreciate the opportunity to hear from witnesses on finance, housing and insurance policies that can avoid causing families to pile up devastatingly high levels of debt, destroying their credit histories and pushing them into insolvency, or leading to eviction from their rental home.”