Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Grace Meng (6th District of New York)
Oct 1, 2021
QUEENS, NY – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) encouraged Queens houses of worship to seek federal disaster assistance if they sustained damage from the recent rainfall and flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
Thanks to legislation that Meng championed in Congress several years ago, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples are now eligible for help from the federal government.
Allowing houses of worship to receive aid, so that they repair and rebuild from damage caused by natural disasters, was Meng’s first legislative effort as a new member of Congress in 2013, just after Hurricane Sandy struck the New York region. Legislation overwhelmingly passed the House weeks after she was first sworn-in, and a provision finally became law in early 2018 when it was enacted as part of a budget agreement. Prior to this enactment, houses of worship were not permitted to receive relief money even though other nonprofit organizations – such as schools, zoos, museums, libraries and performing arts centers – qualified for assistance.
“Queens and the New York area continue to struggle from the havoc that Ida wreaked upon our region,” said Meng. “Individuals, families and small businesses need help to recover, and houses of worship require assistance as well. Many provide critical services to the communities they serve such as child care, food pantries and other social and supportive programs. Helping them is helping the neighborhoods in which they’re located.”
Recently, Meng visited several houses of worship in her congressional district where she surveyed damage from the storm, and discussed how they can seek relief.