In his testimony Administrator Fugate stated that the National Disaster Housing Joint Task Force would be staffed, but did not indicate that it currently is. What is the timeline for permanent staff?
Additionally, he indicated that a draft of the Implementation Plan had been written during the organizational meetings. What is the new timeline for the releaseof the final Implementation Plan, given the passing of the six-month deadline in the NDHS? Also, is the draft version available for public comment?
What is the status of the Comprehensive Concept of Operations(CONOPS)? Is it on schedule, as the deadline for completion of this document isOctober 16th 2009?
It is evident from the response to Hurricane Katrina and subsequent disasters that therealities of post-disaster housing need were not adequately anticipated. Coordination wasseverely lacking amongst federal agencies, as well as with private sector individuals andorganizations that provide multi-family residential housing units. In addition to the problems with trailers, both in supply and location,  FEMA failed to take advantage of housing stock offered by other agencies, including the VA, USDA, and HUD, as well asunits offered by the private sector. As a result, residents were housed in trailers, hotels,and cruise ships, further exacerbating the stress felt by many individuals and families. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, FEMA and HUD entered into an InteragencyAgreement (IAA) in July 2006, which created the pilot Disaster Housing AssistanceProgram (DHAP).  Again in late September of 2008, FEMA and HUD signed another Interagency Agreement to work together to administer the Disaster Housing AssistanceProgram for Ike (DHAP-Ike).  While these agreements are an important start, they donot go far enough to ensure that victims of future disasters will have adequate access toavailable interim and permanent housing stock. These agreements are made on an
basis, and a permanent standard does not yet exist.  FEMA and HUD, in particular,must work together to create a comprehensive system for interim housing and to establisha permanent policy to foster interagency coordination.According to the NDHS, FEMA is supposed to partner with HUD in interim housing, andsupport HUD in permanent housing.  In the recent hearing by the U.S. HouseCommittee on Homeland Security on “FEMA Housing: An Examination of CurrentProblems and Innovative Solutions,” two Congressmen, Mark Souder (R-IN) and MikeRogers (R-AL), inquired how long post-disaster housing remained within FEMA’s jurisdiction. In response, Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Skinner replied that FEMA would remain at the table for interim and transitional housing.
In the future, how does FEMA plan on working with HUD to maximizehousing offered by other agencies?