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Disaster Legal Aid Trainings: What You Need to Know About Applying for Disaster Housing Assistance

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On March 17, Stephanie Duke (she/her/hers) at Disability Rights Texas joined Noah Patton, housing policy analyst at the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), for a conversation on housing assistance options following disaster and what disaster survivors should know. This session, titled “What You Need to Know About Applying for Disaster Housing Assistance,” is part of the Disaster Resilience Awareness Month training series and was prerecorded and shared on Disability Rights Texas’s Facebook page.

At the session, Stephanie and Noah went over the options potentially available under Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) individual housing program in short-term assistance for both renters and homeowners, and long-term recovery options under the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) for homeowners. Tenants who receive assistance from public housing have rights in continuing to access safe affordable housing. If a residence is damaged due to the disaster—the housing provider must either relocate or provide financial assistance to relocate individuals/families, in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Act.

Noah also talked through the work of NLIHC Disaster Housing Coalition and how the organization provides resources and information on disaster housing to ensure every displaced disaster survivor has a safe, accessible, and affordable place to live while they get back on their feet. The speakers discussed why it is critical for individuals to have a disaster and emergency plan and what the plan should entail. You should know what types of disasters could affect your area, what you will do if you choose to evacuate or shelter in place, what your rights are as a renter/homeowner, and knowing where to find resources if you find yourself displaced following a disaster.

Stephanie and Noah called out that disasters will not stop at a doorway threshold, city block, or specific zip code—disasters do not care if you are a renter or homeowner, or live in an apartment, penthouse, tiny home or estate, so it’s important to make sure you have a plan in place to protect yourself and your family. For more information on the disaster housing assistance, visit the NLIHC website here.

If your organization is interested in teaming up with Equal Justice Works for Disaster Resilience Awareness Month, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Disaster Resilience Awareness Month is made possible thanks to the generous support of Equal Justice Works host organizations: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Disability Rights Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., and YMCA International Services.

 

The Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, and individual contributions.

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow