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“Reforming Disaster Recovery Act” Passes House of Representatives with Bipartisan Vote

The House of Representatives approved the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019” (H.R. 3702) on November 18 by a vote of 290-118. The bi-partisan bill is supported by NLIHC and its Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) of more than 850 local, state, and national organizations.

The “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act,” introduced by Congressmembers Al Green (D-TX) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), permanently authorizes the Community Development Block-Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, a HUD-administered program that provides states and local communities with flexible resources needed to rebuild affordable housing and infrastructure after major disasters. In addition to increasing the consistency and efficiency of the CDBG-DR program, the bill also establishes important safeguards and tools to ensure that federal recovery efforts reach all impacted households, including those with the lowest income who often suffer the worst during disasters and have the fewest resources to recover afterward.

“On behalf of NLIHC and our DHRC, I commend the House of Representatives for approving this important bipartisan bill that will ensure that long-term disaster recovery resources better reach the lowest-income survivors, including people of color, seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, people experiencing homelessness, and other vulnerable people and the communities they live in,” said Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO, in a statement released by NLIHC after the vote. “This is an important and long-overdue step towards ensuring that those most likely to be harmed by disasters – low-incomes and other marginalized people and communities – are prioritized for disaster recovery and mitigation resources. Congress should quickly enact this important bill, before the next disaster strikes.”

Attention now turns to the Senate where companion legislation has been introduced by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Todd Young (R-IN).

The full text of the bill is at: https://bit.ly/2qzmMWG

A fact sheet about the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019 is at: https://bit.ly/2pEZNJA

NLIHC’s statement on the bill’s passage is at: https://bit.ly/346jysu