1 (March 5, 2008)

handle is hein.crs/crsajtj0001 and id is 1 raw text is: Order Code RS22828
March 5, 2008
Mortgage and Rental Assistance as Disaster
Relief: Legislation in the 110th Congress
Francis X. McCarthy
Analyst in Emergency Management Policy
Government and Finance
During the first session of the 1 10th Congress, Senators Feinstein and Boxer
introduced S. 2386, the Mortgage and Rental Disaster Relief Act of 2007. The
legislation would reinstate a Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency
Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288, as amended) provision that provided mortgage and
rental assistance to disaster victims. Mortgage and Rental Assistance (MRA) had been
dropped from the Stafford Act by P.L. 106-390, the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000
MRA provided economic aid to help households remain in their residences by
assisting with mortgage or rent payments for a period of up to eighteen months. This
is distinct from temporary housing assistance under the Stafford Act that provides rental
assistance due to disaster damage that makes a residence uninhabitable. For MRA help,
the applicant had to prove a loss of income due to the disaster event.
The MRA provision in S. 2386 differs from the previous MRA provision in that
it establishes eligibility based on an income threshold. In order to qualify for the
proposed MRA assistance, an individual or household would be required to have an
adjusted gross income that does not exceed $75,000. The bill would provide an
exception to this threshold in areas with a high cost of living, as determined by the
President, although it could not exceed $100,000.
This report summarizes the previous MRA provision administered by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, the issues that were a part of the discussion prior to
its removal in P.L. 106-390, and questions that have been raised since 2000 regarding
mortgage and rental assistance.

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