Legislation Supporting FEMA Funding in Community Associations Needs You!

Oct 27, 2015

CAI Government Affairs 
From the Desk of Dawn Bauman, CAE | SVP, CAI Government Affairs

Dear CAI Member: 

Representative Steve Israel (NY) is lead sponsor of a bill that will amend the Stafford Act to provide assistance for common interest communities, condominiums, and housing cooperatives damaged by a major disaster, and for other purposes. Representative Israel needs co-sponsors to support this bill. Please contact your Member of the House of Representatives today and urge them to contact Representative Israel's office to co-sponsor the FEMA bill.

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) is the preeminent governing authority for federal disaster response programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Stafford Act provides FEMA an expansive toolkit to support state and local government disaster mitigation, planning and response operations. The Stafford Act also establishes FEMA as a key partner for state and local governments in long-term disaster recovery, helping devastated areas rebuild stronger, safer and more resilient communities.

As the conduit for federal disaster relief and recovery resources to households and communities, FEMA has failed to adapt its programs to the changing patterns of community development and consumer housing preference. Community association housing is one of the fastest growing forms of home ownership. Across the nation, close to 70 million people live in a condominium, housing cooperative or homeowners association. FEMA has failed community associations by inconsistently interpreting regulations that prohibit community associations from qualifying for funding from federal disaster response and recovery programs. While community association homeowners pay the same federal taxes as those not living in a community association, they are often denied FEMA funding while their neighbors who do not live in a community association are eligible. This legislation is critical for creating fairness in the wake of a federally declared disaster.

Representative Steve Israel's legislation will clarify eligibility for all common interest communities; including homeowner associations, condominiums, and housing cooperatives. Representative Israel intends to introduce the bill this week and is seeking other Members of the House of Representatives to sponsor the bill. Please urge your Member of the House of Representatives to contact Representative Israel's office today to become a sponsor of this important legislation that will create fairness for all American's recovering from a federally declared disaster.

Thank you for taking action on this important issue today. The more than 65 million Americans living in community associations need your support!

Please contact us with any questions.

Sincerely,

Dawn M. Bauman, CAE
SVP, Government Affairs
dbauman@caionline.org


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