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Nadler, Rouzer, and Mace Lead Bipartisan Legislation to Prioritize Fairness in Disaster Recovery Assistance

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-12) today announced the introduction of H.R. 3777, the Disaster Assistance Fairness Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is co-led by Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC-07) and Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC-01).

Under current law, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inconsistently interprets regulations in a way preventing homeowner associations from qualifying for federal disaster response and recovery programs.  H.R. 3777 will ensure housing cooperatives, condominiums, and other homeowner associations are eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to other homeowners.

“In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and other Americans were shocked to learn that FEMA's disaster assistance eligibility rules left them with no way of restoring their homes simply because they shared walls and floors with neighbors and were a member of a homeowners’ association,"  said Representative Nadler. "Some housing cooperatives in New York City were left without working utilities for months after the storm.  Since that time, homeowners’ associations across the country have faced similar hardships in the aftermath of storms and wildfires.  A natural disaster doesn't care what type of home you live in, and FEMA should treat all homeowners fairly when helping them rebuild.  I am proud to join Representative’s Rouzer in re-introducing this important bill, which will ensure that all Americans, regardless of their form of housing, have the right to benefit from the FEMA’s response, recovery, and mitigation resources."

“North Carolinians know too well natural disasters do not discriminate among neighborhoods or housing,"  said Representative Rouzer, the lead Republican on the bill.  "Yet under FEMA’s current eligibility rules, condos, co-ops, and homeowner associations don’t have the same access to FEMA Individual Assistance as single-family homeowners.  This makes it difficult for many families to recover and rebuild their homes and lives.  I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure all North Carolinians impacted by disasters can fully recover." 

“Natural disasters; including tornadoes, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and blizzards; impact homeowners in every state.  Community Associations Institute (CAI) members from across the country are grateful to Reps. Rouzer and Nadler for reintroducing the Disaster Assistance Fairness Act, giving homeowners living in some of the most affordable communities access to FEMAs recovery resources to restore their condominium and coop buildings back to livable conditions and for homeowner associations to rely on resources that remove debris so emergency and essential vehicles can get in and out of the community immediately following a disaster"  said Thomas M. Skiba, Community Associations Institute's (CAI) chief executive officer.

Fred Gibbs, President of National Association of Housing Cooperatives, said,  “NAHC is very grateful to Representatives Rouzer and Nadler for introducing this important legislation to authorize FEMA to provide disaster recovery grants for building wide systems in housing cooperatives, condominiums and Homeowner Associations.  The resident owners of these communities deserve the same consideration from our federal government as individual home owners when disaster strikes their homes.”


Congressman Nadler introduced identical legislation during both the 116th and 117th Congress.  Specifically, the bill makes two key changes to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act:

  • Makes essential common elements of a homeowner association (such as a roof, exterior wall, heating and cooling equipment, elevator, stairwell, utility access, plumbing, and electricity) eligible under FEMA’s Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program;

  • Makes homeowner associations eligible under FEMA’s requirements for the removal of debris in the aftermath of a major disaster.
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