Rep. Maloney Applauds House Committee for including Disaster Recovery Bill
WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced by Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Charles Melancon (D-LA) to reauthorize the Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program was included in the Disaster Response, Recovery and Mitigation Enhancement Act of 2008 (H.R. 6658) which passed out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on July 31, 2008, by voice vote. The Mortgage and Rental Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2008 (H.R. 5685) would help keep people in their homes in the wake of a federally declared disaster, such as a hurricane or terrorist attack.
“I am glad to see that Congress has taken steps to help communities recover from unpredictable disasters and help citizens stay in their homes,” Said Rep. Maloney. “By including the Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program reauthorization in this bill, we are taking a necessary step toward improving the way this nation handles disaster response and recovery.”
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, individuals who required temporary housing assistance relied upon the Mortgage and Rental Assistance (MRA) Act for aid. Under the MRA program, many homeowners and renters were eligible for grants to repair homes to a habitable condition, or to obtain mortgage or rental payment assistance to prevent foreclosures or evictions. The MRA was discontinued by the Disaster Mitigation Act in May 2002.
“The MRA program provided critical assistance to victims of the September 11th attack in my home state of New York. Unfortunately, the MRA was not available to the victims of Hurricane Katrina or the California fires,” continued Rep. Maloney. “Many disaster affected area residents would have benefitted from assistance provided under the MRA. The lack of MRA assistance is detrimental to disaster recovery processes.”