Disaster Resources for Housing Advocates
A Resource Guide for Housing Advocates needing assistance during natural disasters
Hurricanes Fiona and Ian have caused major devastation and there are still two months remaining in the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season. We would like to share the following resources for advocates who are working to get short-term and long-term housing resources to BIPOC and low-income communities who have been repeatedly underserved and left out of disaster recovery programs.
Join NLIHC and their Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition on Tuesday, October 4, at 2 pm for a national webinar. Hear how federal, state, and local governments are responding to housing needs related to Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, learn from leaders in impacted communities about the impact on people experiencing homelessness and other low-income households, and join efforts to advocate for a complete and equitable recovery.
Please see more resources below.
Resources for Advocates
- The National Consumer Law Center has a chapter in its Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications manual that covers common legal issues that arise in the context of natural disasters. The chapter also includes important and updated discussion of COVID relief. This chapter is currently available for free.
- The National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center is an online network of over 650 U.S. based legal advocates working on or interested in disaster response and recovery efforts. They have a website with resources for advocates and operate a listserv hosted by Lone Star Legal Aid and Pro Bono Net.
- The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition is a group of more than 860 local, state, and national organizations dedicated to ensuring the federal response to disaster recovery prioritizes the housing needs of the lowest income people in the impacted areas. The group, which is led by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, works with local partners affected by disasters and advocates for federal policy change and resources. To join the DHRC, visit https://nlihc.org/disaster-
- Immigration Status and Eligibility for Emergency Disaster Relief – In general, all individuals, regardless of immigration status, who are affected by a major disaster are eligible to receive nonmonetary, in-kind, emergency disaster relief, including medical care, shelter, food, and water. Additionally, charitable non-profit agencies can provide assistance regardless of someone’s immigration status. FEMA has issued an FAQ that addresses which disaster assistance programs require an eligible immigration status, and the ability of undocumented families to receive assistance, even if the only eligible family member is a minor child. For a more detailed analysis on immigration status and eligibility for federal emergency relief programs, review NHLP’s Memo on Immigration Requirements.
Federal Housing Program Disaster Resources
- HUD Disaster Resources Website – Provides information regarding disaster resources provided by HUD by state and by disaster.
- HUD MFH Disaster Guidance Website – Houses Chapter 38, “Multifamily Emergency/Disaster Guidance,” of the HUD Asset Management Handbook 4350.1 Rev-1 Chg-2, which provides HUD’s current policies and procedures on disaster recovery for HUD’s Multifamily Housing Programs after a Presidentially-Declared Disaster.
- PHA Disaster Preparedness Website – Contains HUD’s recently updated PHA Disaster Readiness, Response, and Recovery Guidebook (September 2022), which provides guidance to PHA’s on preparing for, responding to and recovering from a disaster. The Guidebook also details PHA obligations as well as best practices for meeting the short-term and long-term housing needs of public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher participants impacted by disasters. Finally, the page provides resources for residents and PHAs, including the PHA Disaster Readiness, Response, and Recovery Webinar Series, which details best practices for responding to a variety of disasters, including hurricanes, extreme temperatures, wildfire, tornadoes, and flooding.
- USDA Priority Housing Access for Displaced Households – Tenants of USDA Rural Development multi-family housing programs who are displaced as the result of a federally-declared disaster are eligible for occupancy nationwide as “displaced tenants” at any USDA-financed multi-family housing project, with or without a Letter of Priority Entitlement (LOPE). LOPE factsheets are available on the RD website in English and Spanish. For more information on USDA’s disaster response policies, see the Asset Management Handbook HB-2-3560, Chapter 9, Section 6: Special Procedures for Declared Disasters.