Federal – Disaster Assistance Equity Act Promotes Fairness in Disaster Relief

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Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced a legislative change to the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (“Stafford Act”) in October 2015 (HR 3863 – Disaster Assistance Equity Act).  HR 3863 provides that community associations are eligible for federal assistance following a disaster that would include debris removal and cleanup.

After certain disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides assistance to those affected, which may include debris cleanup and financial aid to eligible individuals and communities.  The Stafford Act currently allows for financial assistance to certain “private nonprofit facilities,” that “provide essential services of a government nature to the general public.” Currently, community association roads do not meet the requirements to be deemed “essential” and are ineligible for funding.  Homeowners within community associations, therefore, must bear all costs for post-disaster clean up of roads and common area.

The Community Associations Institute, an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities, is leading an effort to secure additional sponsors for HR 3863.  To urge your representative to co-sponsor HR 3863, follow this link.

 

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