“While Sandy was a dark time, we also saw numerous examples of New Yorkers pulling together to assist one another during a difficult period. If we maintain that spirit of togetherness, we can recover from this storm stronger and better prepared for future disasters. We cannot forget what happened during Sandy and the need for recovery assistance. I will not let that happen and these bills are an attempt to keep those efforts going forward,” said Ms. Velazquez in a written statement.
H.R. 1668 would allow for $50 million of disaster Community Development Block Grant dollars appropriated in the Super Storm Sandy supplemental appropriations bill to be used for tenant-based rental assistance vouchers for families displaced by the storm.
H.R. 1669 would require public housing agencies (PHAs) to develop and implement standardized disaster response and relief plans to assist tenants in the case of a natural disaster. The measure includes the requirement that PHAs inform residents of preparation and evacuation protocols and their rights and responsibilities in the case of a natural disaster. Under the bill, it would be required that this information be provided at move-in, annually, and prior to a disaster.
The bill would also require PHAs to have a backed-up list of all public housing households, in which a tenant would have the option to specify whether someone living in his or her household has special needs that may necessitate additional assistance following a disaster.
H.R. 1668 has been referred to the House Committees on Financial Services, on Appropriations, and on the Budget. H.R. 1669 has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.