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senate Bill S. 1605

Should More Survivors of Major Natural Disasters Receive Federal Housing Assistance?

Argument in favor

FEMA’s refusal to enact a Disaster Housing Assistance Program after Hurricane Maria wrought widespread destruction in Puerto Rico is disgraceful. The agency should enact DHAP as soon as possible to enable families in Puerto Rico and other areas affected by natural disasters to access housing assistance. Additionally, the documentation requirements to prove eligibility for housing assistance after a natural disaster should be loosened to allow more types of documentation.

jimK's Opinion
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11/17/2019
Victims of natural disasters will need increasing support from climate change induced weather disasters and help to secure funds such as underwritten low rate loans to recover and rebuild. For people living in geographical areas repeatedly at risk, such as areas subject to increased intensity and damage from recurring wildfires and coastal areas at risk due to increasing storm intensity and sea level rise- these needs will continue to escalate. Government underwritten funds cannot responsibly be allocated for rebuilding in areas subject to repeated risks- they must be used to support relocation and rebuilding in areas which are not. We need to manage these resources with due compassion and intelligence - since the needs will continue to grow and access to government aid cannot be unlimited.
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KansasTamale's Opinion
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11/17/2019
Definitely YES, but with a caveat. Those receiving help MUST rebuild in another location ( unless it’s like a tornado which can’t be predicted) so that the government does not have to spend disaster monies over & over again. In fact those losing housing in an area where disaster happens over & over could be bought out by the government like it does when a highway or federal building is going to be built.
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Robert's Opinion
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11/17/2019
Considering that the Government's lack of action to minimize Natural disasters, a Disaster Housing Assistance Program is called for.
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Argument opposed

FEMA hasn’t enacted the Disaster Housing Assistance Program in response to Hurricane Maria because it has a better program, the Direct Lease program, which is more efficient and cost-effective than DHAP. Additionally, while the documentation requirements to prove eligibility for housing assistance after a natural disaster may be overly strict, this bill relaxes them too much and might empower squatters & cheats to access federal funds they’re not entitled to.

samiam6's Opinion
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11/17/2019
Why do people think the government is an insurance company?
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larubia's Opinion
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11/17/2019
I want to say yes, however, I find it hard to wrap my head around housing assistance for those who will rebuild on the same land, given by a government that refuses to acknowledge global warming even exists. Fix the latter conditions, rejoin the Paris Accord and, yes to the increased housing assistance. Until then, no!
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Doug's Opinion
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11/17/2019
No. Instead we should restrict jurisdictions allowing people and developers to build in areas that have known histories of high frequency’s of natural disasters. If these activities are allowed, then full disclosure to the purchaser should be required and then they can assume the risk and proceed or not. It’s unfair for me to be responsible and not live in hurricane alley or the middle of a forest fire waiting to happen, yet have to pay for those who do.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedMay 22nd, 2019
    Victims of natural disasters will need increasing support from climate change induced weather disasters and help to secure funds such as underwritten low rate loans to recover and rebuild. For people living in geographical areas repeatedly at risk, such as areas subject to increased intensity and damage from recurring wildfires and coastal areas at risk due to increasing storm intensity and sea level rise- these needs will continue to escalate. Government underwritten funds cannot responsibly be allocated for rebuilding in areas subject to repeated risks- they must be used to support relocation and rebuilding in areas which are not. We need to manage these resources with due compassion and intelligence - since the needs will continue to grow and access to government aid cannot be unlimited.
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    Why do people think the government is an insurance company?
    Like (46)
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    Definitely YES, but with a caveat. Those receiving help MUST rebuild in another location ( unless it’s like a tornado which can’t be predicted) so that the government does not have to spend disaster monies over & over again. In fact those losing housing in an area where disaster happens over & over could be bought out by the government like it does when a highway or federal building is going to be built.
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    Considering that the Government's lack of action to minimize Natural disasters, a Disaster Housing Assistance Program is called for.
    Like (42)
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    I want to say yes, however, I find it hard to wrap my head around housing assistance for those who will rebuild on the same land, given by a government that refuses to acknowledge global warming even exists. Fix the latter conditions, rejoin the Paris Accord and, yes to the increased housing assistance. Until then, no!
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    Yes, but not in areas deemed at risk for repeat disasters.
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    Yes! People need to be helped after natural disasters.
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    The republicans are too busy with giveaways to businesses. Why not stimulate the economy and help out those who have been victims of tragedies also. This bill could definitely use some tweaking but the finished legislation could be a real boost for local economies hurt by these disasters.
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    No. Instead we should restrict jurisdictions allowing people and developers to build in areas that have known histories of high frequency’s of natural disasters. If these activities are allowed, then full disclosure to the purchaser should be required and then they can assume the risk and proceed or not. It’s unfair for me to be responsible and not live in hurricane alley or the middle of a forest fire waiting to happen, yet have to pay for those who do.
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    The argument that direct lease is a better program is patently false and that is observable in the utter failure after Maria. PUERTO RICO IS AMERICA. PUERTO RICANS ARE US CITIZENS. The USA has responsibility over a number of unique island peoples, cultures, and ecosystems. We are OBLIGATED to protect and preserve them.
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    Hell Yes! This is why We Pay Taxes! If America isn't taking care of her Citizens anymore why should we pay anything? Get your money from those you in Washington take care of. You know, your Quid Pro Quo, you have them pay no taxes and then they contribute to your Campaigns Hmmmmm Republicans???? You are the ones who have been giving all the tax breaks to Corporations who are raking in BILLIONS same with Companies and the RICH PEOPLE!
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    As long as they agree to relocate to an area where flooding will not occur, I agree. I’m tired of paying for them to rebuild, sometimes, every two years. I can see the first time it happens. After that, get insurance or take the risk yourselves. I would love to live near the water. I choose not to because I don’t want to assume that risk. Many of you won’t admit to fixing climate change, so deal with the consequences. We cannot afford to literally bail you out after every storm! That’s the REALITY of the situation. You contribute to climate change. You can still fix it. Tell your Representatives to step up before it’s too late! OR YOU PAY THE PRICE!
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    Protect Americans!
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    Not everyone has the money to rebuild or buy something new. Even though my husband and I both work we fall into that class of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. He has a Master’s and I a doctorate. Federal aid would be the only way could begin to start over
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    The loan must be paid back. No gifts.
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    Our government is currently broke, in debt, and continuing to spend our children's monetary futures into oblivion.
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    Yes, of course we should assist those affected by natural disasters, yet with the caveat that if the disaster occurs in a disaster prone area, the first course of assistance should entail relocation. I’m talking about real and timely aid, not just throwing paper towels. It’s time we step back up to our responsibilities, pay attention to science and rejoin the Paris Accord. Prior to President Trump’s administration, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Lyndsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and so many more would still be screaming about overspending on anything but military, war and special projects in their own districts and states to placate their voters. It’s ironic how things also change when some of the biggest conservative congressional spending hawks, Mick Mulvaney, Tom Price, and so many more now disgraced self-serving jerks change when they move into the executive branch. (The Trump administration will end, either by impeachment, by the 2020 election, or by the end of a 2nd term in 2024, yet these same corrupt individuals will be running again and be fully re-enabled in their districts and states.) IF YOU’RE UNHAPPY BECAUSE YOUR MONEY IS NOT BEING SPENT ON THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER TO YOU AND TO YOUR FAMILY, THEN VOTE AND CHANGE WHO REPRESENTS YOUR DISTRICT AND YOUR STATE.
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    Only if building is not in the same area such as barrier islands and pine forests, areas prone to landslides and flooding. Better still, invest in stopping global warming which is the etiology of the increased natural disasters.
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    As long as they don’t rebuild in a disaster prone areas
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    Natural disasters should be covered by Federal money; this being dependent on the financial means of the victim.
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