House Passes Nadler-Engel Disaster Assistance Support for Communities and Homeowners Act of 2017
Washington D.C. –- (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation this week co-authored by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16), designed to bring co-op and condo owners one step closer to receiving critical federal funding for disaster relief. H.R. 1684, the Disaster Assistance Support for Communities and Homeowners Act of 2017, directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide recommendations to Congress within 12 months for how condos and co-ops could become eligible for disaster relief funds.
Currently under federal law, only single family homeowners can obtain disaster relief funding. Co-ops and condos are ineligible, even though they have been located in areas affected by natural disasters.
“After Hurricane Sandy, thousands of homeowners throughout the New York region learned that they were ineligible for federal disaster assistance because they lived in a co-op or a condo; not in a single family home,” Congressman Engel said. “According to the FEMA’s policy, co-ops and condo associations are ‘business entities’ – not eligible for federal assistance that can reach up to $30,000 per household. As a result, community associations are often faced with the daunting task of cleaning up and rebuilding after a major natural disaster – without the help or resources that other homeowners receive from the federal government.
“To help bring fairness to the federal disaster relief process, my colleague Jerry Nadler and I introduced HR 1684, the Disaster Assistance Support for Communities and Homeowners Act. Our bill directs FEMA to provide technical assistance to help community associations qualify for disaster assistance grants. It also directs FEMA to provide recommendations to Congress, within 12 months, on additional ways that co-ops and condos can become eligible for assistance.
“This bill was written to correct an obvious flaw in current federal law. Its passage in the House was an important step forward for co-op and condo owners; I urge my colleagues in the Senate to now adopt the measure quickly.”
“We are very pleased that Congressman Engel followed through on ARC’s appeal to him to ensure that co-ops and condos are granted the same support from the federal government as private home owners following any disastrous damage to their place of residence,” said Association of Riverdale Cooperatives & Condominiums (ARC) President Stephen Budihas. “It is especially encouraging that he and Congressman Nadler duly acknowledged this obvious need for equitable support in times of overwhelming need to the many tens of thousands of their constituents as well as co-op and condo owners everywhere during this tumultuous time in Washington D. C. While we naturally hope that no one will ever require FEMA’s relief funding it will be of great comfort to know that it can be available and we strongly encourage the Senate to follow Eliot Engel’s lead and pass the bill.”