The House of Representatives will vote this week on a bipartisan bill to permanently authorize HUD’s Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. The bill includes key reforms to the program recommended by the NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) of more than 850 organizations to help ensure that federal disaster recovery efforts reach all impacted households. NLIHC and the DHRC urge all advocates to call their representatives and ask them to vote in support of the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act” (H.R. 3702).
Administered by HUD, CDBG-DR provides states and communities with flexible, long-term recovery resources needed to rebuild affordable housing and infrastructure after disasters. By authorizing the program, the bill would help ensure the program is run consistently and the dollars can flow more quickly to communities that need them. The bill ensures the CDBG-DR program fulfills Congress’s intent that all eligible disaster survivors are served by tasking the HUD Office of Inspector General with overseeing program outcomes.
The bill would also ensure that families and communities in need are targeted for these scarce disaster resources, requiring states to allocate resources equitably between housing and infrastructure priorities and among homeowners, renters, and people experiencing homelessness. Finally, the bill would also make important data about the impact of the disaster and the use of resources available to the public. Such data-transparency would make it easier for the public and advocates to better informed as they participate in the development of state recovery plans and to help state and local governments, researchers, and philanthropic organizations better identify critical gaps in services.
The bill, introduced by Representatives Al Green (D-TX) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), passed out of the House Financial Services Committee this summer with unanimous support. See NLIHC’s factsheet on the bill at: https://bit.ly/2XDJyfD