Continuing Intense Effort, Rep. Nadler Calls on FEMA to Extend Deadline

Jan 26, 2003 Issues: 9/11 Attacks

NEW YORK -- Now that the State Department of Labor has heeded Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY) call to include information about the Mortgage and Rental Assistance (MRA) program in all unemployment checks sent out by the state, the Congressman is calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to extend the program’s application deadline, which is set for January 31.

"My constituent services staff is still receiving calls from MRA-eligible residents who have only recently discovered the program," said Rep. Nadler. "Because the state will just now be advertising the program via unemployment checks, there are bound to be thousands more who will just discover they are eligible. It is imperative that FEMA extend the deadline to accommodate these people, others who are hearing about the program for the first time, and those who have experienced trouble in the application process."

The MRA program has been one of the most successful 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).

Rep. Nadler said he is equally concerned by the fast approaching conclusion of the FEMA 18-month benefit period, which will begin on March 11. After that date there will be no safety net available for the many families in need, which may be particularly devastating, given the record levels of joblessness and homelessness in the City. The Congressman had preliminary discussions with FEMA staff about the extension of the MRA benefit period and will meet with Director Allbaugh early next month to further discuss his concerns.

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992. He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn - including the site of the World Trade Center and its surrounding areas.