NLIHC, NAC, NLC, Enterprise, and 84 Other National Organizations Send Letter to Congress Urging Passage of Bipartisan “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act”

In partnership with the National Association of Counties (NAC), National League of Cities (NLC), National Association of Counties (NCA), and Enterprise, NLIHC sent a letter to congressional leadership on October 24 requesting the inclusion of the bipartisan “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act” (RDRA) in any emergency disaster supplemental appropriations package or other must-pass package. The letter was cosigned by 84 other national organizations.

NLIHC and its Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) of more than 900 local, state, and national organizations support the bipartisan RDRA. The bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on May 18, 2023, by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Patty Murray (D-WA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Todd Young (R-IN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Alex Padilla (D-CA).

The RDRA would formally authorize HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program to ensure that long-term disaster recovery resources reach survivors and their communities more quickly after a disaster and are better targeted to those with the greatest needs.

CDBG-DR is a vital tool that provides flexible, long-term resources needed to rebuild after a disaster and to prepare for future harm. However, the lack of formal authorization leads to unnecessary delays that harm survivors and communities. Without additional safeguards and transparency provisions like those laid out in the RDRA, recovery and mitigation efforts can be inconsistent and steer funding away from those most in need. Though low-income households are the most impacted by disasters, they receive the least amount of assistance after a disaster. As climate change continues to create longer wildfire and hurricane seasons, the importance of ensuring these households are able fully to recover will only grow.

The 2019 version of the bill introduced by Representative Al Green (D-TX) was unanimously passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services and approved by the House through a bipartisan vote. After the legislation was first introduced in the Senate this year, Representative Al Green re-introduced the House companion bill on October 19, 2023.

Under the past two administrations, HUD and the U.S. Government Accountability Office have agreed that permanently authorizing the CDBG-DR program would vastly improve the operation of the country’s most important long-term disaster recovery program.

Read a fact sheet on the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act at:

Read the text of the bill at:

Read the letter here.