May 19 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined a bipartisan group of senators this week to introduce legislation to help communities recover from major disasters. The Reforming Disaster Recovery Act would strengthen the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) disaster recovery program for states, local governments, and tribes. 

“Too many North Carolinians are still waiting for assistance after losing their homes because of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence and it’s clear that reforms at the federal level and stronger leadership at the state level are needed to cut through the red tape and stop the delays,” said Senator Tillis. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan legislation to streamline the grant process to get long-term federal assistance sooner to the families and small businesses that need to be made whole again.”

The bill addresses long-standing recommendations from the HUD Office of the Inspector General and Government Accountability Office to establish a permanent and predictable funding process. The bill accelerates assistance to disaster-impacted communities by:

  • Creating a disaster recovery fund to allow HUD to predictably assist communities;
  • Authorizing HUD to issue regulations to codify program requirements and reduce unnecessary red tape, delays, and unpredictability that stems from the current process;
  • Supporting resilience as a part of – rather than separate from – disaster recovery; 
  • Authorizing “quick release” funds to support grantee capacity right after an event;
  • Improving federal coordination by establishing an office at HUD devoted to disaster recovery and resilience, and;
  • Reducing unnecessary administrative burdens and interagency requirement conflicts.

The Reforming Disaster Recovery Act is supported by more than 40 organizations including BPC Action, Council of State Community Development Agencies, Enterprise Community Partners, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Community Development Association, and National Low Income Housing Coalition. 

The full text of the bill is available here.