Policy Update: Disaster Supplemental Funding Supports Communities Recovering from Catastrophic Disasters in 2022
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, (Pub. L 117-328) which provides funding for the Federal government through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2023. This legislation includes the Disaster Supplemental Appropriation Act, 2023, which provides Federal agencies with a total of $38.175 billion in emergency Federal disaster assistance to address ongoing response and recovery needs.
While these funds will be spread across the Federal landscape, many of the appropriations specifically reference support for damage caused by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. Some of this funding is replenishment of fundamental disaster recovery programs, some represents predictable funding for specific agency activities, while other funding is responsive to the unique circumstances surrounding disasters in 2022. Listed below are some of the significant line items that will provide funding to states, local governments and households for recovery efforts.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – $5 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) for major disaster declaration expenses, primarily under its Public Assistance and Individual and Household Assistance programs. Note that FEMA declared 46 major disasters in 2022.
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) for major disasters that occurred in 2022. Using the Congressional directive to focus on “most impacted and distressed” areas, HUD will fund states, local governments, and, possibly, Indian tribes for only the most significant major disasters.
- United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – $1.4 billion to repair damaged Corps projects, support emergency operations, fund studies and build high-priority projects (particularly in states impacted by Fiona, Ian, and Nicole).
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – $1.668 billion to address the impacts of Fiona and Ian upon water and wastewater systems and to fund response to the declared water system emergency in Jackson, MS.
- Department of Transportation (DOT) –
- $803 million for the Highway Emergency Relief Program.
- $214 million for Federal Transit Administration emergency relief expenses.
- Department of Commerce:
- Economic Development Administration (EDA) – $500 million for EDA grants to communities impacted by disasters in 2021 and 2022 and an additional $618 million for EDA technology innovation grants.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – $300 million for declared fishery disasters and $507 million for marine debris removal, and repair, replacement, and acquisition of disaster-related equipment.
- Department of Agriculture (USDA):
- $3.7 billion for Emergency Relief Program to assist agricultural producers who suffered loss due to certain disasters in 2022.
- $925 million for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program for rural watershed recovery activities.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) – $858 million to service low-cost loans for homeowners and businesses in response.
- Health and Human Services (HHS) – A total of $1.75 billion across a range of programs (Head Start, Community Health Centers, Child Care Development Block Grants, etc.) to address the impact of Fiona and Ian.
- Department of Interior (DOI) – Total of $2.4 billion, including $1.5 billion for recovery and restoration of National Park Service facilities, including Yellowstone Nation Park which was severely impacted by flooding in 2022.
This funding will be made available through a variety of mechanisms at different points in time over the coming year(s), making it incumbent upon disaster-impacted jurisdictions to understand the opportunities presented by this funding. In some ways, this process is a continuation of the stream of Federal funding provided to governmental entities in the COVID era and, like the COVID funding, requires a thorough, thoughtful approach to leverage the opportunities presented to maximum advantage.
Hagerty Can Help
Over the past three years, Hagerty Consulting has developed a strong ability to assist governmental entities with Federal funds management and can pair that ability with its historic strength in working with FEMA programs to create successful disaster recovery outcomes. If your community was impacted by recent disasters, contact Hagerty to discuss what funding opportunities may be available to address your long-term recovery needs.
Stan Gimont is a Senior Advisor for Community Recovery with Hagerty. Stan joined Hagerty after 32 years of service with HUD including serving as HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs. With Hagerty, Stan provides strategic advisory support focused on HUD Programs, housing issues, and long-term community recovery.