Jun 23, 2002
Press Release
NEW YORK: Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) joined the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), other advocacy groups, and numerous New Yorkers impacted by 9/11, to urge FEMA to end its incomprehensible delays and rigid, arbitrary standards when considering aid to New Yorkers affected by 9/11 who are in jeopardy of losing their homes.
Maloney, who has written to and spoken directly with top FEMA officials about this problem, joined the NYIC at the kick off of their 100-Day FEMA Accountability Campaign in an effort to convince FEMA to change and expand the Mortgage and Rental Assistance (MRA) program. The accountability campaign highlights the 100 days that remained before the September 30, 2002 application deadline. During the 100-Day Campaign, the coalition will be tracking FEMA's efforts to provide better services to New Yorkers who lost their jobs due to the terrorist attack of 9/11 and are in need of mortgage and rental assistance.

Maloney said that FEMA should expand its MRA program to serve all impacted workers who are in need of assistance; simplify its documentation requirements; and provide multilingual public outreach to ensure all New Yorkers in need know about FEMA's MRA program.

At the event, Congresswoman Maloney said: "Red tape, exclusionary eligibility standards and bureaucratic roadblocks from FEMA have resulted in less than one third of the 10,000 displaced workers who applied for assistance receiving the help they need. Just six weeks ago, FEMA admitted procedural problems and promised to review more than 7,000 applications, but since that time, the agency only reviewed about 600 applications and helped only 85 more New Yorkers. This is an outrage, it's a shame, and it's something FEMA needs to change immediately."

Congresswoman Maloney further commented that, "FEMA's complex documentation requirements must be simplified to help immigrants, families, and all New Yorkers affected by 9/11, access the program. The current system, where New Yorkers in need don't know that help is available, can't fill out the applications, wait for months for a response, and then get a rejection on a technical error is completely unacceptable. FEMA should immediately review their application procedures, extend their outreach and assistance efforts, expand their definition of those eligible, and make sure this never happens again."

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