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FEMA Releases Updated Public Assistance Policy and Program Guidance

May 16, 2018

On April 26, 2018, FEMA released a new version of the Public Assistance Policy and Program Guidance (PAPPG). On February 9, 2018, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123). The Act includes a provision amending the Robert T. Stafford Act in a manner that largely codifies the changes related to houses of worship which were made in the last version of this Guide in January 2018.

The new PAPPG updates language to match the new law; adds houses of worship as eligible private nonprofit facilities, distinct from community centers; clarifies that houses of worship cannot be deemed ineligible because leadership or membership in the organization operating the house of worship is limited to persons who share a religious faith or practice; removes the exclusion of buildings and items used primarily for religious purposes or instruction from the definition of eligible private non-profit educational facilities; and makes clear that these facilities are eligible regardless of their religious character or use for religious instruction.

The new PAPPG also clarifies that new construction under the Public Assistance program is prohibited in Coastal High Hazard Areas.

FEMA will continue to update the guide on an annual basis, as necessary, and is always looking for policy feedback. Please send any policy recommendations to FEMA-PAPolicy@fema.dhs.gov.

Last modified: May 16, 2018