BERWYN, IL. – State Representative Abdelnasser Rashid, D-Bridgeview, filed legislation to create an Illinois disaster relief grant program to address flooding and other extreme weather events.
“With climate change accelerating, we unfortunately will see natural disasters that are more extreme, more devastating and more frequent. This grant program, if passed, will ensure Illinois is prepared to provide direct financial assistance to individuals and families impacted by natural disasters,” said Rashid. “Too many families in Cicero, Berwyn and Chicago are struggling with the cost of damages to their homes and property. If passed, this will take some of the financial burden off their shoulders as they work to get back on their feet.”
Rashid’s House Bill 4123 and House Bill 4124 would create and fund a grant program administered by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to assist individuals and households impacted by any disaster declared by the President of the United States, such as the flooding that occurred in early July. The bills’ chief sponsors include Deputy Majority Leader Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, and Reps. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, and Lindsay LaPointe, D-Chicago.
Last week, President Biden signed a disaster declaration allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer individual assistance to residents in Cook County who were impacted by severe weather and flooding in July. FEMA’s individual assistance offers grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property loss, and other programs for storm recovery. However, it is unlikely to cover all damages incurred by individuals and their families.
The legislation filed by Rashid is similar to California’s State Supplemental Grant Program (SSGP). Rashid is proposing an initial allocation of $50 million for the program, with a cap of $10,000 per individual or household.
“Establishing this supplemental grant program is an important step to provide financial assistance to Illinois families impacted by natural disasters,” said Hernandez. “In July, Cicero was particularly devastated. Tomorrow, it could be any community in our state. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure Illinois is prepared to offer direct assistance to families struggling with the cost of recovery.”