November 17, 2022

House Passes The “Disaster Survivors Fairness Act”—Legislation to Streamline Access to Relief for Victims of Disasters

Washington, DC - Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Dina Titus (D-NV) applauded House passage of the Disaster Survivors Fairness Act, legislation approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to ease survivor’s access to federal relief in the wake of disasters. The House also approved the FEMA Improvement, Reform, and Efficiency Act of 2022 or FIRE Act, another bill within the committee’s jurisdiction that will help streamline federal response to deadly wildfires.

“I am pleased to have passed legislation that will better support disaster survivors by cutting red tape and improving access to federal assistance,” Chair DeFazio said. “The last thing families recovering from a disaster need is a bureaucratic headache—today’s vote streamlines the process and makes sure everyone gets the help they need to get back on their feet. I applaud Chair Dina Titus who championed the Disaster Survivors Fairness Act, and I look forward to the Senate approving the bill without delay.”

“It is no surprise that climate change is modifying the emergency management landscape because today’s disasters cause more damage, have greater impacts on communities, and require longer time to recover,” Chair Titus said. “These new challenges to the recovery process make it essential that FEMA cut red tape in its assistance programs, efficiently deliver resources to individuals and families in need, and ensure we are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. My bill is common-sense legislation that will do just that while also providing states with more flexibility to pursue post-disaster housing solutions that best accommodate their needs.”

H.R. 8416, Disaster Survivors Fairness Act of 2022

H.R. 8416 includes a series of significant reforms designed to make federal disaster assistance more accessible to disaster survivors. Specifically, the bill will expand the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) ability to make disaster damaged households more resilient; expand FEMA’s authority to provide more adequate and innovative post-disaster housing solutions; ensure a universal disaster application for disaster assistance across all federal agencies; and help provide non-profits and local governments that administer disaster relief with FEMA reimbursement. The bill was introduced by Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chair Dina Titus (D-NV), along with Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA).  

More information can be found here.