[USC07] 42 USC 5174: Federal assistance to individuals and households
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42 USC 5174: Federal assistance to individuals and households Text contains those laws in effect on June 26, 2019
From Title 42-THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 68-DISASTER RELIEFSUBCHAPTER IV-MAJOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

§5174. Federal assistance to individuals and households

(a) In general

(1) Provision of assistance

In accordance with this section, the President, in consultation with the Governor of a State, may provide financial assistance, and, if necessary, direct services, to individuals and households in the State who, as a direct result of a major disaster, have necessary expenses and serious needs in cases in which the individuals and households are unable to meet such expenses or needs through other means.

(2) Relationship to other assistance

Under paragraph (1), an individual or household shall not be denied assistance under paragraph (1), (3), or (4) of subsection (c) solely on the basis that the individual or household has not applied for or received any loan or other financial assistance from the Small Business Administration or any other Federal agency.

(b) Housing assistance

(1) Eligibility

The President may provide financial or other assistance under this section to individuals and households to respond to the disaster-related housing needs of individuals and households who are displaced from their predisaster primary residences or whose predisaster primary residences are rendered uninhabitable, or with respect to individuals with disabilities, rendered inaccessible or uninhabitable, as a result of damage caused by a major disaster.

(2) Determination of appropriate types of assistance

(A) In general

The President shall determine appropriate types of housing assistance to be provided under this section to individuals and households described in subsection (a)(1) based on considerations of cost effectiveness, convenience to the individuals and households, and such other factors as the President may consider appropriate.

(B) Multiple types of assistance

One or more types of housing assistance may be made available under this section, based on the suitability and availability of the types of assistance, to meet the needs of individuals and households in the particular disaster situation.

(c) Types of housing assistance

(1) Temporary housing

(A) Financial assistance

(i) In general

The President may provide financial assistance to individuals or households to rent alternate housing accommodations, existing rental units, manufactured housing, recreational vehicles, or other readily fabricated dwellings. Such assistance may include the payment of the cost of utilities, excluding telephone service.

(ii) Amount

The amount of assistance under clause (i) shall be based on the fair market rent for the accommodation provided plus the cost of any transportation, utility hookups, security deposits, or unit installation not provided directly by the President.

(B) Direct assistance

(i) In general

The President may provide temporary housing units, acquired by purchase or lease, directly to individuals or households who, because of a lack of available housing resources, would be unable to make use of the assistance provided under subparagraph (A).

(ii) Lease and repair of rental units for temporary housing

(I) In general

The President, to the extent the President determines it would be a cost-effective alternative to other temporary housing options, may-

(aa) enter into lease agreements with owners of multifamily rental property impacted by a major disaster or located in areas covered by a major disaster declaration to house individuals and households eligible for assistance under this section; and

(bb) make repairs or improvements to properties under such lease agreements, to the extent necessary to serve as safe and adequate temporary housing.

(II) Improvements or repairs

Under the terms of any lease agreement for property entered into under this subsection, the value of the improvements or repairs shall be deducted from the value of the lease agreement.

(iii) Period of assistance

The President may not provide direct assistance under clause (i) with respect to a major disaster after the end of the 18-month period beginning on the date of the declaration of the major disaster by the President, except that the President may extend that period if the President determines that due to extraordinary circumstances an extension would be in the public interest.

(iv) Collection of rental charges

After the end of the 18-month period referred to in clause (iii), the President may charge fair market rent for each temporary housing unit provided.

(2) Repairs

(A) In general

The President may provide financial assistance for-

(i) the repair of owner-occupied private residences, utilities, and residential infrastructure (such as a private access route) damaged by a major disaster to a safe and sanitary living or functioning condition; and

(ii) eligible hazard mitigation measures that reduce the likelihood of future damage to such residences, utilities, or infrastructure.

(B) Relationship to other assistance

A recipient of assistance provided under this paragraph shall not be required to show that the assistance can be met through other means, except insurance proceeds.

(3) Replacement

(A) In general

The President may provide financial assistance for the replacement of owner-occupied private residences damaged by a major disaster.

(B) Applicability of flood insurance requirement

With respect to assistance provided under this paragraph, the President may not waive any provision of Federal law requiring the purchase of flood insurance as a condition of the receipt of Federal disaster assistance.

(4) Permanent housing construction

The President may provide financial assistance or direct assistance to individuals or households to construct permanent or semi-permanent housing in insular areas outside the continental United States and in other locations in cases in which-

(A) no alternative housing resources are available; and

(B) the types of temporary housing assistance described in paragraph (1) are unavailable, infeasible, or not cost-effective.

(d) Terms and conditions relating to housing assistance

(1) Sites

(A) In general

Any readily fabricated dwelling provided under this section shall, whenever practicable, be located on a site that-

(i) is complete with utilities;

(ii) meets the physical accessibility requirements for individuals with disabilities; and

(iii) is provided by the State or local government, by the owner of the site, or by the occupant who was displaced by the major disaster.

(B) Sites provided by the President

A readily fabricated dwelling may be located on a site provided by the President if the President determines that such a site would be more economical or accessible.

(2) Disposal of units

(A) Sale to occupants

(i) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a temporary housing unit purchased under this section by the President for the purpose of housing disaster victims may be sold directly to the individual or household who is occupying the unit if the individual or household lacks permanent housing.

(ii) Sale price

A sale of a temporary housing unit under clause (i) shall be at a price that is fair and equitable.

(iii) Deposit of proceeds

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the proceeds of a sale under clause (i) shall be deposited in the appropriate Disaster Relief Fund account.

(iv) Hazard and flood insurance

A sale of a temporary housing unit under clause (i) shall be made on the condition that the individual or household purchasing the housing unit agrees to obtain and maintain hazard and flood insurance on the housing unit.

(v) Use of GSA services

The President may use the services of the General Services Administration to accomplish a sale under clause (i).

(B) Other methods of disposal

If not disposed of under subparagraph (A), a temporary housing unit purchased under this section by the President for the purpose of housing disaster victims-

(i) may be sold to any person; or

(ii) may be sold, transferred, donated, or otherwise made available directly to a State or other governmental entity or to a voluntary organization for the sole purpose of providing temporary housing to disaster victims in major disasters and emergencies if, as a condition of the sale, transfer, or donation, the State, other governmental agency, or voluntary organization agrees-

(I) to comply with the nondiscrimination provisions of section 5151 of this title; and

(II) to obtain and maintain hazard and flood insurance on the housing unit.

(e) Financial assistance to address other needs

(1) Medical, dental, child care, and funeral expenses

The President, in consultation with the Governor of a State, may provide financial assistance under this section to an individual or household in the State who is adversely affected by a major disaster to meet disaster-related medical, dental, child care, and funeral expenses.

(2) Personal property, transportation, and other expenses

The President, in consultation with the Governor of a State, may provide financial assistance under this section to an individual or household described in paragraph (1) to address personal property, transportation, and other necessary expenses or serious needs resulting from the major disaster.

(f) State role

(1) State- or Indian tribal government-administered assistance and other needs assistance

(A) Grant to State

Subject to subsection (g), a Governor may request a grant from the President to provide assistance to individuals and households in the State under subsections (c)(1)(B), (c)(4), and (e) if the President and the State or Indian tribal government comply, as determined by the Administrator, with paragraph (3).

(B) Administrative costs

A State that receives a grant under subparagraph (A) may expend not more than 5 percent of the amount of the grant for the administrative costs of providing assistance to individuals and households in the State under subsections (c)(1)(B), (c)(4), and (e).

(2) Access to records

In providing assistance to individuals and households under this section, the President shall provide for the substantial and ongoing involvement of the States in which the individuals and households are located, including by providing to the States access to the electronic records of individuals and households receiving assistance under this section in order for the States to make available any additional State and local assistance to the individuals and households.

(3) Requirements

(A) Application

A State or Indian tribal government desiring to provide assistance under subsection (c)(1)(B), (c)(4), or (e) shall submit to the President an application for a grant to provide financial assistance under the program.

(B) Criteria

The President, in consultation and coordination with State and Indian tribal governments, shall establish criteria for the approval of applications submitted under subparagraph (A). The criteria shall include, at a minimum-

(i) a requirement that the State or Indian tribal government submit a housing strategy under subparagraph (C);

(ii) the demonstrated ability of the State or Indian tribal government to manage the program under this section;

(iii) there being in effect a plan approved by the President as to how the State or Indian tribal government will comply with applicable Federal laws and regulations and how the State or Indian tribal government will provide assistance under its plan;

(iv) a requirement that the State or Indian tribal government comply with rules and regulations established pursuant to subsection (j); and

(v) a requirement that the President, or the designee of the President, comply with subsection (i).

(C) Requirement of housing strategy

(i) In general

A State or Indian tribal government submitting an application under this paragraph shall have an approved housing strategy, which shall be developed and submitted to the President for approval.

(ii) Requirements

The housing strategy required under clause (i) shall-

(I) outline the approach of the State in working with Federal partners, Indian tribal governments, local communities, nongovernmental organizations, and individual disaster survivors to meet disaster-related sheltering and housing needs; and

(II) include the establishment of an activation plan for a State Disaster Housing Task Force, as outlined in the National Disaster Housing Strategy, to bring together State, tribal, local, Federal, nongovernmental, and private sector expertise to evaluate housing requirements, consider potential solutions, recognize special needs populations, and propose recommendations.

(D) Quality assurance

Before approving an application submitted under this section, the President, or the designee of the President, shall institute adequate policies, procedures, and internal controls to prevent waste, fraud, abuse, and program mismanagement for this program and for programs under subsections (c)(1)(B), (c)(4), and (e). The President shall monitor and conduct quality assurance activities on a State or Indian tribal government's implementation of programs under subsections (c)(1)(B), (c)(4), and (e). If, after approving an application of a State or Indian tribal government submitted under this paragraph, the President determines that the State or Indian tribal government is not administering the program established by this section in a manner satisfactory to the President, the President shall withdraw the approval.

(E) Audits

The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security shall provide for periodic audits of the programs administered by States and Indian tribal governments under this subsection.

(F) Applicable laws

All Federal laws applicable to the management, administration, or contracting of the programs by the Federal Emergency Management Agency under this section shall be applicable to the management, administration, or contracting by a non-Federal entity under this section.

(G) Report on effectiveness

Not later than 18 months after October 5, 2018, the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security shall submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives on the State or Indian tribal government's role to provide assistance under this section. The report shall contain an assessment of the effectiveness of the State or Indian tribal government's role in providing assistance under this section, including-

(i) whether the State or Indian tribal government's role helped to improve the general speed of disaster recovery;

(ii) whether the State or Indian tribal government providing assistance under this section had the capacity to administer this section; and

(iii) recommendations for changes to improve the program if the State or Indian tribal government's role to administer the programs should be continued.

(H) Report on incentives

Not later than 12 months after October 5, 2018, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives on a potential incentive structure for awards made under this section to encourage participation by eligible States and Indian tribal governments. In developing this report, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall consult with State, local, and Indian tribal entities to gain their input on any such incentive structure to encourage participation and shall include this information in the report. This report should address, among other options, potential adjustments to the cost-share requirement and management costs to State and Indian tribal governments.

(I) Prohibition

The President may not condition the provision of Federal assistance under this chapter on a State or Indian tribal government requesting a grant under this section.

(J) Miscellaneous

(i) Notice and comment

The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may waive notice and comment rulemaking with respect to rules to carry out this section, if the Administrator determines doing so is necessary to expeditiously implement this section, and may carry out this section as a pilot program until such regulations are promulgated.

(ii) Final rule

Not later than 2 years after October 5, 2018, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall issue final regulations to implement this subsection as amended by the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018.

(iii) Waiver and expiration

The authority under clause (i) and any pilot program implemented pursuant to such clause shall expire 2 years after October 5, 2018, or upon issuance of final regulations pursuant to clause (ii), whichever occurs sooner.

(g) Cost sharing

(1) Federal share

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Federal share of the costs eligible to be paid using assistance provided under this section shall be 100 percent.

(2) Financial assistance to address other needs

In the case of financial assistance provided under subsection (e)-

(A) the Federal share shall be 75 percent; and

(B) the non-Federal share shall be paid from funds made available by the State.

(h) Maximum amount of assistance

(1) In general

No individual or household shall receive financial assistance greater than $25,000 under this section with respect to a single major disaster, excluding financial assistance to rent alternate housing accommodations under subsection (c)(1)(A)(i) and financial assistance to address other needs under subsection (e).

(2) Other needs assistance

The maximum financial assistance any individual or household may receive under subsection (e) shall be equivalent to the amount set forth in paragraph (1) with respect to a single major disaster.

(3) Adjustment of limit

The limit established under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Department of Labor.

(4) Exclusion of necessary expenses for individuals with disabilities

(A) In general

The maximum amount of assistance established under paragraph (1) shall exclude expenses to repair or replace damaged accessibility-related improvements under paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (c) for individuals with disabilities.

(B) Other needs assistance

The maximum amount of assistance established under paragraph (2) shall exclude expenses to repair or replace accessibility-related personal property under subsection (e)(2) for individuals with disabilities.

(i) Verification measures

In carrying out this section, the President shall develop a system, including an electronic database, that shall allow the President, or the designee of the President, to-

(1) verify the identity and address of recipients of assistance under this section to provide reasonable assurance that payments are made only to an individual or household that is eligible for such assistance;

(2) minimize the risk of making duplicative payments or payments for fraudulent claims under this section;

(3) collect any duplicate payment on a claim under this section, or reduce the amount of subsequent payments to offset the amount of any such duplicate payment;

(4) provide instructions to recipients of assistance under this section regarding the proper use of any such assistance, regardless of how such assistance is distributed; and

(5) conduct an expedited and simplified review and appeal process for an individual or household whose application for assistance under this section is denied.

(j) Rules and regulations

The President shall prescribe rules and regulations to carry out this section, including criteria, standards, and procedures for determining eligibility for assistance.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title IV, §408, as added Pub. L. 100–707, title I, §106(d), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4702 ; amended Pub. L. 106–390, title II, §206(a), Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1566 ; Pub. L. 109–295, title VI, §§685, 686, 689(c), 689d, 696(c), Oct. 4, 2006, 120 Stat. 1447–1449 , 1452, 1461; Pub. L. 113–2, div. B, §§1103, 1108(a), Jan. 29, 2013, 127 Stat. 42 , 47; Pub. L. 115–254, div. D, §§1211(a), 1212, 1213(a), (b), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3445 , 3448.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (f)(3)(I), was in the original "this Act", meaning Pub. L. 93–288, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 143 . For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 5121 of this title and Tables.

The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, referred to in subsec. (f)(3)(J)(ii), is div. D of Pub. L. 115–254, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3438 . For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2018 Amendment note set out under section 5121 of this title and Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 5174, Pub. L. 93–288, title IV, §404, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 154 , related to temporary housing assistance, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 100–707, §106(d).

A prior section 408 of Pub. L. 93–288 was classified to section 5178 of this title and to a note set out under section 5178 of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 100–707.

Amendments

2018-Subsec. (c)(1)(B)(ii)(I)(aa). Pub. L. 115–254, §1213(b), amended item (aa) generally. Prior to amendment, item (aa) read as follows: "enter into lease agreements with owners of multifamily rental property located in areas covered by a major disaster declaration to house individuals and households eligible for assistance under this section; and".

Subsec. (c)(1)(B)(ii)(II). Pub. L. 115–254, §1213(a), amended subcl. (II) generally. Prior to amendment, subcl. (II) related to improvements or repairs.

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, §1211(a)(1)(A), substituted "State- or Indian tribal government-administered assistance and other needs assistance" for "Financial assistance to address other needs" in heading.

Subsec. (f)(1)(A). Pub. L. 115–254, §1211(a)(1)(B), struck out "financial" before "assistance" and substituted "subsections (c)(1)(B), (c)(4), and (e) if the President and the State or Indian tribal government comply, as determined by the Administrator, with paragraph (3)" for "subsection (e)".

Subsec. (f)(1)(B). Pub. L. 115–254, §1211(a)(1)(C), struck out "financial" before "assistance" and substituted "subsections (c)(1)(B), (c)(4), and (e)" for "subsection (e)".

Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 115–254, §1211(a)(2), added par. (3).

Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, §1212(1), inserted ", excluding financial assistance to rent alternate housing accommodations under subsection (c)(1)(A)(i) and financial assistance to address other needs under subsection (e)" after "disaster".

Subsec. (h)(2), (3). Pub. L. 115–254, §1212(2)–(4), added par. (2), redesignated former par. (2) as (3), and, in par. (3), substituted "paragraphs (1) and (2)" for "paragraph (1)".

Subsec. (h)(4). Pub. L. 115–254, §1212(5), added par. (4).

2013-Subsec. (c)(1)(B)(ii) to (iv). Pub. L. 113–2, §1103, added cl. (ii), redesignated former cls. (ii) and (iii) as (iii) and (iv), respectively, and, in cl. (iv), substituted "clause (iii)" for "clause (ii)".

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 113–2, §1108(a), inserted "child care," after "dental," in heading and text.

2006-Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–295, §689(c)(1), inserted ", or with respect to individuals with disabilities, rendered inaccessible or uninhabitable," after "uninhabitable".

Subsec. (c)(1)(A)(i). Pub. L. 109–295, §689d(1), inserted at end "Such assistance may include the payment of the cost of utilities, excluding telephone service."

Subsec. (c)(1)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 109–295, §689d(2), inserted "security deposits," after "hookups,".

Subsec. (c)(2)(C). Pub. L. 109–295, §686(1), struck out subpar. (C) which read as follows: "The amount of assistance provided to a household under this paragraph shall not exceed $5,000, as adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Department of Labor."

Subsec. (c)(3)(B), (C). Pub. L. 109–295, §686(2), redesignated subpar. (C) as (B) and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: "The amount of assistance provided to a household under this paragraph shall not exceed $10,000, as adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Department of Labor."

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 109–295, §685, in introductory provisions, inserted "or semi-permanent" after "permanent" and struck out "remote" before "locations".

Subsec. (d)(1)(A)(ii), (iii). Pub. L. 109–295, §689(c)(2), added cl. (ii) and redesignated former cl. (ii) as (iii).

Subsecs. (i), (j). Pub. L. 109–295, §696(c), added subsec. (i) and redesignated former subsec. (i) as (j).

2000–Pub. L. 106–390 amended section catchline and text generally. Prior to amendment, text provided for temporary housing assistance through provision of temporary housing, temporary mortgage and rental payment assistance, expenditures to repair or restore owner-occupied private residential structures made uninhabitable by a major disaster which are capable of being restored quickly, and transfer of temporary housing to occupants or to States, local governments, and voluntary organizations, required notification to applicants for assistance, and set out location factors to be given consideration in the provision of assistance.

Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 115–254 applicable to each major disaster and emergency declared by the President on or after Aug. 1, 2017, and authorities provided under div. D of Pub. L. 115–254 applicable to each major disaster and emergency declared by the President on or after Jan. 1, 2016, except as otherwise provided, see section 1202 of Pub. L. 115–254, set out as a note under section 5121 of this title.

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–390, title II, §206(d), Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1571 , provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 5192 of this title and repealing section 5178 of this title] take effect 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 30, 2000]."

Reimbursement

Pub. L. 115–254, div. D, §1211(b), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3447 , provided that: "The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shall reimburse State and local units of government (for requests received within a period of 3 years after the declaration of a major disaster under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170)) upon determination that a locally implemented housing solution, implemented by State or local units of government-

"(1) costs 50 percent of comparable FEMA solution or whatever the locally implemented solution costs, whichever is lower;

"(2) complies with local housing regulations and ordinances; and

"(3) the housing solution was implemented within 90 days of the disaster."

[For definition of "State" as used in section 1211(b) of Pub. L. 115–254, set out above, see section 1203 of Pub. L. 115–254, set out as a note under section 5122 of this title.]