Helping People Who May Lose Their Homes
Washington DC: Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman José Serrano (D-NY) along with ten other New York Members of the House of Representatives introduced the Mortgage and Rental Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2002, HR 5378. The bill reinstates the Mortgage and Rental Assistance program that was discontinued as of May 30, 2002 by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.
This now discontinued program was authorized to assist individuals who required temporary housing assistance following catastrophes that resulted in presidential major disaster declarations. The program was recently used following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Without the Mortgage and Rental Assistance (MRA) program, thousands of people affected by future major disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, and terrorist acts, may be unable to obtain any assistance to address their housing needs.
In the months following September 11, 2001, reports surfaced of problems resulting from confusion over eligibility and documentation. However, after several guideline revisions by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this program has been used to successfully assist thousands of New York residents in paying their mortgage or rent.
Explaining the significance of the legislation, Congresswoman Maloney said "Housing assistance following a major disaster is critical. The MRA program has prevented numerous evictions and financial hardships in NY, it would be unfortunate if others are not given the same assistance when they need it the future."
Other cosponsors of this legislation are: Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Steven Israel (D-NY), Major Owens (D-NY), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Michael McNulty (D-NY) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY)