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Disaster Relief Fairness

Post-Irma Naples, FL



CAI is dedicated to supporting communities and residents affected by all the recent natural disasters. Unfortunately, associations are routinely denied Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requests for assistance which are granted to non-association neighborhoods. Forcing association homeowners to fund 100 percent of their neighborhood's disaster recovery places financial burdens on households and impedes community recovery. 

CAI is working with Members of Congress and advocating for equal access to federal disaster benefits that will be critical for community association recovery in the wake of this unprecedented storm.  Click here to ask your Representative to cosponsor the Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017, which would give community associations access to the federal disaster response funds and recovery programs that they deserve.  For updates regarding CAI's effort to support disaster relief, click here.

Help Support FEMA Funding in Community Associations 

On July 13, 2017, Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) introduced the Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017, H.R. 3238.  CAI applauds Congressman Sanford's steadfast leadership in ensuring disaster relief fairness for community associations. 

CAI is committed to working alongside Congressman Sanford, Congressman Engel (D-NY), Congressman Nadler (D-NY), and Congressman Zeldin (R-NY) and fight for the passage of this critical legislation to allow communities to receive the vital assistance they deserve. 

Community Associations Institute (CAI) supports a legislative or regulatory change to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, so that community associations are eligible for federal assistance following a disaster, including, but not limited to, debris removal and cleanup.

When disasters strike and the President declares a region to be a disaster area, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) enters to provide assistance, which may include debris cleanup and financial aid to eligible individuals and communities. However, existing FEMA policy specifically excludes community association roads from receiving federal assistance for debris cleanup. Moreover, there has never been a thorough vetting by legislators or regulators on how to classify community association roads.

At the core of this issue is the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the "Stafford Act," 42 U.S.C. 5121-5206 and Related Authorities), which governs FEMA. The Stafford Act allows for financial assistance to states, counties, municipalities, as well as eligible "private nonprofit facilities," which are defined as entities that "provide essential services of a government nature to the general public." Currently, community association roads do not meet the requirements to be deemed "essential" and, therefore, are not included on FEMA's list of eligible private nonprofit facilities. 

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