Curbelo Applauds Policy Change to Allow Churches, Synagogues to Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance

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Washington, D.C., January 4, 2018 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), who represents South Florida and the Florida Keys, issued the following statement applauding the decision to change FEMA policy to allow houses of worship to apply retroactively for FEMA disaster assistance:

I am grateful to see this unfair policy reversed after houses of worship like Chabad Key West came forward to bring this inequity to light. Houses of worship are pillars of our community and their work, especially after a disaster, is critical to communities in recovery. The storm surge and winds of Hurricane Irma did not discriminate the damage they inflicted on structures in the Florida Keys and the government should not discriminate the survivors’ access to assistance.”

The policy change comes after house of worship, including a synagogue in Key West, sued FEMA for denying them disaster assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Curbelo was a leading advocate during last year’s disaster relief debates, often urging colleagues and House Leadership to do more for communities in Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as they recovered from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. 

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