FEMA Releases Request for Public Assistance Grants


FEMA Releases Request for Public Assistance Grants image


FEMA released a rolling Request for Public Assistance (RPA) March 20th in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and it appears supportive housing providers are eligible to apply. Grants can be used to pay for costs incurred as of January 20th related to actions taken to “save lives, protect public health and safety, or eliminate threat of significant damage to public and private property.”  The Incident Period stretches to September 19th.

Normally, FEMA disaster relief covers damage to properties – this is the first time FEMA is declaring a disaster for a medical event. FEMA is still actively working to determine what costs are eligible, and is updating their FACT SHEETS accordingly. 

Costs that are eligible include overtime for permanent employees and temporary employees, as well as costs of materials and equipment used/purchased for work directly related to COVID-19.  Costs that are reimbursable through a government contract are not eligible for FEMA reimbursement.

The following are examples of items that may be eligible for federal reimbursement:

•  Virus testing
•  Medical supplies & equipment (e.g. PPE)
•  Shelters or emergency care
•  Provision of food, water, ice, other essential needs
•  EOC Operations
•  Security for temporary facilities

Most providers would be eligible under the non-critical, essential social services category, which includes, but is not limited to operators of homeless shelters, senior housing, low-income housing and residential services for survivors.

In order to apply, nonprofits must first submit a Request for Public Assistance to determine eligibility through the Grants Portal. 
Here is a short video on how to apply. 

The Office of Disaster Recovery at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is holding one hour virtual Applicant Briefings that will provide state agencies and authorities, local governments and private non-profits guidance on the eligibility standards for being an applicant under a FEMA disaster grant and what types of activities are reimbursable under this current declaration. It is encouraged that any entity that is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak register.

Futre Date/times:

1.  Thursday, April 9th at 1:00 PM
2.  Friday, April 10th at 9:00 AM
3.  Monday, April 13th at 1:00 PM
4.  Tuesday, April 14th at 9:00 AM
5.  Wednesday, April 15th at 6:00 PM
6.  Thursday, April 16th at 1:00 PM
7.  Friday, April 17th at 9:00 AM

Register here

For questions, please contact Patricia Debboli ( at the Department of Homeland Security Emergency Services (DHSES).

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