House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Passes FEMA Assistance Reform Package

The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unanimously passed the “Disaster Survivors Fairness Act of 2022.” The bill was introduced by U.S. House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Chair Dina Titus (D-NV) and Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA), Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR), and Troy Carter (D-LA) during a committee markup on July 20. The bill contains substantial reforms to FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) programs, which provide financial and other assistance directly to disaster survivors. The bill now heads to the House floor.

The bill (1) includes provisions implementing a common application across all federal disaster recovery agencies via a new website, (2) directs FEMA to create a system for sharing granular data with academic and research institutions, (3) permits FEMA to provide assistance to individuals whose homes have been rendered inaccessible due to disability, (4) permits IA funds to be used for home hazard mitigation projects, and (5) creates a dashboard on the FEMA website to show topline data on disaster assistance applications, such as the number of approved or denied applications, a list of the top reasons for denial, the dollar amount of assistance, and the estimated percentage of residential properties destroyed by a disaster. Several of these measures have been priorities for the NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC), a group of more than 850 local, state, and national organizations working to ensure that all disaster survivors – including those with low-incomes – have the resources they need to fully recover.

Read the bill here:

Watch a recording of the committee markup here: