Each year Congress sets aside funds within the Capital Fund appropriation to create a reserve for emergencies and natural disasters. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) that confront an emergency situation or a natural disaster are eligible to apply for and receive funds from the reserve provided that they comply with certain requirements. In FFY19, HUD has $20 million available to fund grants for capital needs arising from Emergencies and Non-Presidentially Declared Disasters occurring in FFY19 (October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019) and is accepting applications for grants. This an increase from $16.5 million in FFY18. HUD is accepting applications on a first come-first served basis for funding until funds are exhausted.
The definition of an emergency is an unforeseen or unpreventable event or occurrence that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the residents (including fire safety) that must be corrected within one year of funding. Examples of Emergencies are elevator failures, boiler failure, water intrusion causing mold growth, sewer line failure, and severe electrical problems.
The definition of a non-Presidentially declared Natural Disaster is an extraordinary event, such as an earthquake, flood, or hurricane, affecting a Public Housing Property owned and managed by a PHA, but excluding areas covered by a Presidentially-Declared emergencies and major disasters under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as those areas are eligible for funding from the Federal Management Agency (FEMA). Examples of non-Presidentially declared Natural Disasters are strong, localized supercell thunderstorms including hail, localized tornadoes, or localized flooding. Insurance coverage, which is required by the ACC, should be a PHA’s primary source of funding for repair or replacement costs associated with Emergencies and Non-Presidentially Declared Natural Disasters prior to applying for a grant.
Additionally, PHAs should be aware that if they have large Operating Fund or Capital Fund reserve balances that are unobligated, they may be required to use those funds prior to receiving an Emergency or Non-Presidentially Declared Natural Disaster grant. Applications should be submitted to the PHAs HUD field office for review and concurrence prior to the Field Office submitting the application to HUD Headquarters for underwriting.