FEMA Expands Public Assistance Eligibility to Include Houses of Worship

From FEMA: FEMA today (1/218) announced that private nonprofit houses of worship are eligible for disaster assistance as community centers without regard to their secular or religious nature. These changes are effective for disasters declared on or after August 23, 2017 and for applications for assistance that were pending with FEMA as of August 23, 2017, including applications on first- or second-level appeal, that as of today have not yet been resolved by FEMA.

Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), FEMA provides financial assistance, through its Public Assistance Program, to certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations for the repair or replacement of facilities damaged or destroyed by a major disaster.  FEMA’s changes now make houses of worship owned or operated by PNP organizations eligible applicants for this financial assistance (1) if their facilities suffered damage from an event declared a major disaster on or after August 23, 2017, or (2) if they had applications pending with FEMA as of August 23, 2017 that, as of today, have not yet been resolved by FEMA.

This change will be reflected in the third edition of the Public Assistance Program Policy Guide, which will be available online at www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/111781.

From Politico:  some of the pros and cons of this change.

From WashPost, 1/4, More on the pros and cons.

 

 

 

 

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