This week I was honored to have cosponsored and helped pass House legislation to help community centers and houses of worship run by religious institutions recover from damage incurred by Superstorm Sandy.
Many houses of worship and community centers run by religious institutions provide the same community functions as secular non-profits. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, they have provided the same types of aid and relief services as secular aid organizations to their surrounding communities, and were hit just as hard by the storm as well.
The Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013, which passed in the House of Representatives on Feb. 13 after being introduced by Rep. Grace Meng and cosponsored by myself, adds community centers and houses of worship run by religious institutions to existing aid rules for private non-profit institutions so that all may receive FEMA disaster assistance after Superstorm Sandy.
“Houses of worship have been one of the first centers of response across Long Island,” said Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, also in support of the legislation.
Our houses of worship and other religious institutions were hurt just as bad and responded just as vigorously as any other non-profits hit by Sandy, and this legislation clears the red tape and bureaucracy so that our neighbors can get the help that they need. I’m proud to have cosponsored this bill and look forward to helping groups in my district get this aid so they can rebuild and continue to serve our communities.
The UJA Federation of New York, in support of the bill, said that “Houses of worship have worked closely with elected officials and government on city, state and federal levels to coordinate disaster relief efforts to the benefit of the entire community.
Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.