NLIHC-Led DHRC Responds to HUD Request for Information about Long-Term Disaster Recovery Program

HUD issued a historic Request for Information (RFI) regarding both the allocation formula and rules of the agency’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program in late 2022. The agency is seeking to create a universal allocation notice to better standardize program requirements, which have become more confusing and complicated with every subsequent allocation of funds due to the CDBG-DR program’s lack of permanent authorization. On February 21, NLIHC filed comments on behalf of its Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) requesting that HUD ensure that disaster assistance can effectively reach those most impacted by disasters in an equitable, transparent, and efficient manner. The comment addressing the specific RFI related to program rules was drafted collaboratively and cosigned by 18 local, state, and national members of the DHRC.

NLIHC leads the DHRC, a coalition of more than 890 national, state, tribal, and local organizations, including many working directly with disaster-impacted communities and with first-hand experience recovering after disasters. The DHRC strives to ensure that federal disaster recovery efforts prioritize the housing needs of the lowest-income and most marginalized people in impacted areas.

Questions provided by HUD covered a wide range of topics, from modifications needed to ensure that tribal organizations have access to long-term disaster recovery funding, to needed technical assistance for select disaster recovery contractors, to how program rules can prevent distributions of disaster recovery funds that are discriminatory. Comments reflected the wide range of experiences and knowledge of DHRC members and NLIHC’s history of working on disaster housing recovery issues since 2017.

Disaster recovery “is a system designed for middle-class people and communities – a system that does not address the unique needs of the lowest-income and most marginalized people and the communities in which they live,” reads the comment regarding program rules. “As a result, these households are consistently left behind in recovery and rebuilding efforts, and their communities are made less resilient to future disasters. The federal disaster recovery system exacerbates many of the challenges these communities faced prior to disasters, worsening the housing crisis, solidifying segregation, and deepening inequality.”

Read the Collaborative Comment on the HUD RFI on CDBG-DR Rules, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements at:

Read the DHRC Comment on the HUD RFI on the CDBG-DR Allocation Formula at: