Congressman Nadler Moves to Extend 9/11 Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program

May 5, 2003

WASHINGTON - Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is announcing much needed legislation today that would extend the benefit period of the Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program (MRA), under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Under the Nadler legislation, the benefit period would be extended from 18 months to 24 months.

"I have heard from residents and small business owners who are crying out for relief," said Rep. Nadler. "It is tragic that FEMA has failed to recognize the despair that many in the City feel as they face eviction and foreclosure. Many are still reeling from the economic impact of September 11th, and this bill addresses some of these problems."

The MRA program has been one of the most well-used post-disaster relief programs for economically impacted households in New York. The MRA program provides mortgage and rental assistance in the form of a payment equal to an applicant's monthly rent or mortgage payment for up to 18 months, provided that one proves an income loss of at least 25% that was a result of the September 11th attacks, as well as difficulty meeting rent or mortgage payment(s). Those who began receiving MRA payments effective September 11, 2001 have already exhausted their benefits.

“All one needs to do is look at the headlines in the paper every morning to see what kind of dire straits the New York economy is in,” said Rep. Nadler. “In large part, it is due to the reverberations from the attacks, people still not being able to find a job, and businesses still facing shortfalls. Extending the MRA program is the common-sense, compassionate thing to do.”

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992. He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.