The purpose of the hearing was largely to determine the level of supplemental appropriations required to address Super Storm Sandy-related needs and other costs related to FEMA’s nationwide ongoing disaster recovery operations. Subcommittee Chair Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said,
“Our country is big enough and strong enough to multitask,” and urged that the Super Storm Sandy supplemental appropriations and the negotiations around avoiding the fiscal cliff be dealt with at the same time.
Senator Murray asked for details about the impact of Super Storm Sandy on people living in public or assisted housing. Mr. Donovan responded that helping people who live in public and assisted housing was a critical part of the response. Prior to the storm, HUD assisted with advance evacuations of the most vulnerable residents and now the Administration is focused on rapid repairs to minimize the number of people who will be displaced as a result of the storm.
Senator Murray then asked if all low-income families impacted have been re-housed. Mr. Donovan said that there are a small number of households, in the hundreds, for which further evaluation is needed to ensure that their housing units are habitable in winter conditions.