FEMA Heeds Congressman Nadler's Call to Revisit Issue of NYC Aid

Apr 30, 2002 Issues: 9/11 Attacks

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today praised FEMA for taking swift action on reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was denying aid to those still suffering economic loss from the attacks.  In a letter to Rep. Nadler today, FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh reported to the Congressman that FEMA would immediately assign case workers to review every single denied New York City claim, post-9/11, filed under the Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program.  In a letter last week, Rep. Nadler called upon FEMA to conduct a review of every application denied.

Rep. Nadler both represents Ground Zero, and a large number of those who have sought FEMA aid.  Rep Nadler also serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over FEMA, and has requested that the Committee schedule a hearing to examine FEMA's response to 9/11.

"Last week, when reports surfaced that FEMA was denying aid to those who legitimately sought it -- and at a rate disproportional to the aid given out in other disasters -- I called on Director Albaugh to take swift action," said Rep. Nadler.  "I commend the Director for taking decisive action, and at the most expeditious pace.  This is the way Federal agencies should respond when it seems they might have acted wrongly.  The people affected by this disaster should expect nothing less, and I am happy to see Director Allbaugh is not letting them down."

In his letter to Rep. Nadler, Director Allbaugh said that in addition to reviewing denied claims, FEMA will "review, and revise, if necessary, any internal guidance  that does not contribute to a clear understanding of program guidelines."  Furthermore, Director Allbaugh requested a meeting with Rep. Nadler to discuss criteria used by FEMA in the Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program.  Rep. Nadler said he would schedule a meeting as soon as possible.

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