In a meeting with the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), CAI’s Florida Legislative Alliance (CAI-FLA) members urged Rubio to introduce the Disaster Assistance Equity Act (DAEA) in the Senate and work to enact it into law.

H.R. 5298 is non-partisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to streamline disaster recovery in community associations. The legislation allows community associations to receive help removing disaster debris from association roads and helps condominium and housing cooperative homeowners repair critical building infrastructure damaged by a major natural disaster.

Members of the CAI-FLA shared examples of local governments in Florida refusing or delaying debris removal assistance to community associations while removing debris from non-association neighborhoods.

In a letter to Rubio delivered following the meeting, the CAI-FLA wrote, Association homeowners and residents deserve equal access to the national disaster response and recovery toolkit. Denying these homeowners and households federal disaster recovery assistance reduces community resilience and is patently unfair.”

The CAI-FLA requested Rubio make enactment of DAEA a high priority.

In 2017, Rubio wrote the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) observing, “The longer we wait for debris removal, the more these piles of debris continue to produce unsafe and unsanitary conditions for Floridians across the state…the law provides [FEMA] with the authority to assist with debris removal on private property after a natural disaster.”

The same year, the Florida congressional delegation urged FEMA to help community associations with debris removal. In a letter to FEMA, federal lawmakers criticized a lack of clarity on debris removal from private roads like those owned by community associations. The lawmakers noted, “While we certainly recognize that FEMA guidelines generally prohibit reimbursement [to local governments] for the removal of debris on private roads, we have asked FEMA multiple times to provide guidance on…FEMA reimbursement approval…”

DAEA achieves the clarity Florida’s congressional delegation says is required to remove debris from association roads so communities can recover. It’s critical for community association residents to have full, unimpeded access to federal disaster recovery resources.

Let your federal lawmakers know access to disaster recovery assistance is a critical issue for community associations. Ask your U.S. representative or senator to support the Disaster Assistance Equity Act.

  • C. Scott Canady

    Scott Canady's 13-year record of public service includes experience gained in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    In Congress, Scott served as chief policy and political aide to a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, working to reform the National Flood Insurance Program and improve the regulation of housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Following his time in Congress, Scott was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Scott served as a key legislative liaison with members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.

    In 2009, Scott began his partnership with Community Associations Institute by launching Tambala Strategy. Through this partnership, Scott has worked with CAI's members and leadership team to advance the views of common interest communities on a variety of issues including federal condominium standards, federal disaster assistance for community associations, and community association lien priority.

    Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Louisiana State University and a Master of Public Administration from the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government.

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