Local Advocates Brief Congress on Disaster Housing Recovery Efforts

The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition held a congressional briefing on January 12 on “The State of Disaster Housing Recovery: Tools and Resources Needed to Ensure Equitable Recovery.” Speakers included Suzanne Cabrera, who serves on the board of directors of the Florida Housing Coalition, Francisco Rodriguez of Coalición de Coaliciones in Puerto Rico, and Christina Rosales of the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service.

Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition’s Congressional Briefing PanelistsDisaster Housing Recovery Coalition’s Congressional Briefing Panelists. L to R: Sarah Mickelson, director of public policy; Christina Rosales, communications director, Texas Housers; Suzanne Cabrera, president and CEO, Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County; and Francisco Rodriguez, president and CEO, Coalición de Coaliciones

The speakers provided an update to staff from congressional offices and others on federal housing recovery efforts in their communities, which were devastated by recent hurricanes. The speakers also discussed top priorities for the next emergency disaster supplemental spending bill, including the tools and resources needed to ensure that federal housing recovery efforts reach the lowest income and most vulnerable households who are often the hardest-hit by disasters and have the fewest resources to recover afterwards. This includes the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) and, other housing-specific resources like funding for the national Housing Trust Fund, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The presenters also called for strong requirements for transparent data collection and reporting and oversight measures to ensure that resources are fairly and equitably allocated. 

The Senate is expected to vote on the House-approved disaster supplemental as soon as this week. 

A copy of the presentation, including disaster impact maps relative to unmet needs and predominance of low income people of color in Texas, is here.

See DHRC’s top priorities for the disaster relief bill at: http://bit.ly/2BtwTxt