Sending Office: Honorable Adriano Espaillat
Help Ease Access to Resources for Natural Disaster Survivors! Co-Sponsor the Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act
Co-Sponsor the Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act (H.R. 2914) Introduced by Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Rep.
House Companion to S. 1605 introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Amy J. Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernard Sanders (I-VT),
Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), and Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR).
Endorsing Organizations: Hispanic Federation, UnidosUS, National Low-Income Housing Coalition
It has been over 18 months since Hurricanes Maria and Irma made landfall in Puerto Rico and many of our fellow U.S. citizens are still struggling to obtain livable housing. The devastating impact of natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence, the flooding
of the Missouri River Basin, and wildfires in California have resulted in similar housing catastrophes and unnecessary hardship for American households. To address this desperate and basic humanitarian need, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Congresswoman Jenniffer
González-Colón and Senator Elizabeth Warren have reintroduced the Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act and we ask you to join as a co-sponsor.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, it became apparent that many of the storm’s survivors had their housing assistance applications denied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) because of the overwhelming documentation the agency requires to prove ownership
of a damaged property. This resulted in families waiting months to receive housing assistance simply due to unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles.
The Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act will enable applicants to declare ownership of their homes without having to undertake efforts to locate deeds, leases, or other previously required documentation following a natural disaster. It
will broaden the array of possible proof of residence, making it easier for families to access critical assistance after a storm. Additionally, the bill prohibits FEMA from requiring the notarization of disaster housing assistance applications, often an impossible
requirement to meet when communities are in the initial stages of recovering from natural disasters, and a bottleneck in the processing of applications for assistance.
Finally, to offset the heavy financial burden families incur when a natural disaster strikes,
the Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act would also allow for Disaster Relief funding under the
Stafford Act to be used for land surveys, land titles, and any other taxes or fees associated with the transfer of property. And most importantly, this bill would expand housing assistance eligibility to other forms of housing, such as bunkhouses and
If you would like additional information or to co-sponsor the Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act, please contact Joe Newman in Congressman Espaillat’s office at
Joseph.Newman@mail.house.gov or X54369.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0