A critical part of disaster recovery is returning displaced families to permanent homes as quickly as possible. Housing recovery is a complex process that requires resources and leadership from the whole community.
While federal programs such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individuals Assistance (IA) Program, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program play a critical role, these programs do not make households whole, and communities must leverage available resources creatively for successful long-term recovery. For example, households with insufficient insurance often find that the maximum award from FEMA and SBA loans are inadequate to rebuild or repair their home. Furthermore, funds intended for housing are often used for immediate needs rather than home repair before resources such as CDBG-DR become available. Traditional temporary housing programs, such as the use of manufactured housing units, also have limitations for bridging the gap between sheltering and permanent housing, providing an expensive solution that does not invest in the permanent housing stock of the community.
Despite these challenges, states and localities have never been more empowered to take ownership of and lead their housing recovery efforts. The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA) provides states with the opportunity to lead their own direct housing mission, opening the door to alternative housing solutions tailored to local needs. The maximum local deference of CDBG-DR also provides states and localities with the opportunity to design and implement programs that best address their unmet housing needs.
Hagerty Consulting supports local, state, and federal clients through all phases of disaster housing, from pre-disaster planning for disaster housing through sheltering, temporary housing, and permanent housing. Our team has direct experience dealing with disaster housing operations and creating housing solutions for displaced populations and we will help you find an innovative post-disaster housing approach that best serves your community’s needs. We will help you figure out ways to work around (or through) the bureaucratic roadblocks that may impede some permanent housing solutions and implement assessment tools to expand the range of alternative housing options available to you and your community.