Nov. 5, 2018
Houses of Worship in Florida may be Eligible for FEMA Public Assistance to Cover Damage from Hurricane Michael
What is the Public Assistance grant program?
Public Assistance (PA) provides grants to state and local governments and certain types of private non-profit (PNP) organizations so that communities can respond to and recover from presidentially-declared disasters.
The program is funded by FEMA on a cost-share basis and administered by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance, 75 percent reimbursement of eligible costs for Emergency Work (debris removal and life-saving emergency protective measures) and Permanent Work (repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain non-profit organizations).
For Eligible PNPs, debris removal is limited to that associated with the property of a facility.
Emergency protective measures are generally limited to activities associated with preventing damage to a facility and its contents.
FEMA does not provide PA funding to PNPs for the costs associated with emergency services such as sheltering and feeding survivors and other governmental services; unless those services were at the request of, and certified by, a legally-responsible government entity.
Operating costs are generally not eligible even if the services are emergency services; unless the house of worship performs an emergency service at the request of, and is certified by, the legally-responsible government entity.
Eligibility requirements for houses of worship
A house of worship must:
Be owned or operated by a Private Non-Profit organization.
Have damage caused by Hurricane Michael that occurred on Oct. 7-19, 2018.
Provide a non-critical but essential service open to the general public, without regard to their religious or secular nature.
Provide an IRS current ruling letter granting tax exemption status under Section 501 (c) (d) or (e).
Documentation from the state substantiating it is a non-revenue producing, nonprofit organization organized or doing business under state law
Request for Public Assistance (RPA) Application
Request for Public Assistance (RPA) by submitting your completed RPA forms to www.floridapa.org/site/rpasubmission.cfm.
Contact Florida Division of Emergency Management Public Assistance at www.floridapa.org or by calling (805) 815-4400 with questions on submission.
The deadline to complete the RPA is Dec. 14, 2018.
SBA disaster loans are a critical part of your application process
For all PNPs that provide non-critical services, including houses of worship, FEMA may provide Public Assistance funding for eligible permanent work costs only if an SBA disaster loan does not cover them.
Like all non-critical PNP facilities under the law, a house of worship must apply to the SBA for a low-interest disaster loan for permanent repair work.
Visit the SBA website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ or contact the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or visit your local DRC by searching at FEMA.gov/DRC.to process your application.
FEMA will provide financial assistance only if the applicant is denied an SBA loan – or if the loan authorized is insufficient to cover repair costs.