Hurricanes, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

HURRICANE MARIA

IRS

IRS Tax Relief. For residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who evacuated or were not able to return because of the hurricanes, IRS Notice 2017-56 provides some relief so these residents do not lose their status as “bona fide residents” of these territories for tax filing and reporting purposes. The notice extends the usual 14-day absence period to 117 days, beginning September 6, 2017 and ending December 31, 2017. In addition, an individual absent from the territories on any day during this 117-day period will be treated as leaving or being unable to return.

FEMA

U.S. Virgin Islands

By the Numbers: (unchanged from 10/2)

  • $10,510,000 Emergency Work (Categories A-B) dollars obligated**

**Funds made available to the State via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

  • HUD-Assisted Households. A FEMA Fact Sheet explains that people impacted by Hurricanes Maria or Irma who were receiving HUD rental assistance before the hurricanes should register with FEMA. This advice applies to households who were living in public housing, private homes with vouchers, or private homes assisted with project-based rental assistance. Displaced households may be eligible for temporary assistance to pay for a place to live until they return to HUD-assisted homes. They may also be eligible for grants to replace essential contents such as clothing and household items, as well as medical, dental, and burial expenses.
  • Increased Federal Cost Sharing. President Trump authorized an increase in the federal cost-share to 100% for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal cost-share will decrease to a 90% federal cost-share (instead of a 75% federal cost-share) after 180 days.

Puerto Rico

By the Numbers: (unchanged from 10/3)

  • 13,832 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $6,916,000 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $6,916,000 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

USDA

Hot Food Allowed. USDA has allowed recipients of Puerto Rico’s Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP) to utilize their funds for prepared foods, such as sandwiches, pizza, or soup, that are generally not covered by food assistance.

Local Perspective

Resources for Persons with Disabilities in PR. A local organization in Puerto Rico, the Movement to Achieve Independent Living (MAVI), is conducting a study of the needs of individuals with disabilities that remain in shelters to better compile available resources. Groups can join their efforts by emailing MAVI’s director. There is also an app that helps coordinate efforts and resources.


HURRICANE IRMA

FEMA 

Florida 

By the Numbers: (unchanged from 10/3)

  • 673,124 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $691,373,241 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $453,771,427 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $237,601,814 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

  • Fact Sheet Defines “Substantial Damage.” A FEMA Fact Sheet reminds home owners that “substantial damage” is a technical term in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The term applies to a damaged structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area – or floodplain – for which the total cost of repairs is 50% or more of the structure’s market value before the disaster occurred. Property owners should consider this percentage when deciding whether to repair or replace a damaged dwelling, and when deciding whether additional work will be needed to comply with all local codes and ordinances, such as elevating a house in a floodplain.

Georgia

By the Numbers: (unchanged from 10/3)

  • 7,722 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $8,480,184 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $5,766,983 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $2,713,201 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.


HURRICANE HARVEY

FEMA

By the Numbers: (unchanged from 10/2)

  • 286,009 Individual Assistance (IA) applications approved*
  • $698,001,453 Individual & Household Program (IHP) approved*
  • $501,496,859 Housing Assistance (HA) approved*
  • $196,504,594 Other Needs Assistance (ONA) approved*
  • $323,676,092 Public Assistance Grants (PA) obligated** all of which are for Emergency Work (Categories A-B)

*Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

** Funds made available to the State via electronic transfer following FEMA’s final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

Small Business Administration

SBA reminds Texas private nonprofit organizations of the November 3 deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for property damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Nonprofits of any size may apply for SBA federal disaster loans of up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

In addition, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help nonprofits meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury assistance is available regardless of whether the nonprofit suffered any property damage. Nonprofits have until June 4, 2018, to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Local Perspectives

Relief Funds Distributed. The first $7 million from a local relief fund established by Houston Mayor and a county judge was distributed to Harris County nonprofit organizations throughout the county.

General Update

Enterprise Recovery Fund. Enterprise Community Partners has created the Enterprise Hurricane Community Recovery Fund to support short- and long-term relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Short-term relief efforts include grants to nonprofit organizations engaged in recovery services, including disaster case management, financial counseling, and mold remediation. To support longer-term rebuilding, the grants will provide funding for project planning, pre-development costs, and business continuity to ensure nonprofit organizations can operate over the long term. In addition, Enterprise, in partnership with the National Center for Healthy Housing, will update its how-to field guide, “Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide to Clean Up Flooded Homes.” An October 5, 2:00 pm ET webinar will be held on cleaning mold out of flooded homes.

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