Capitol Correspondence - 06.23.20

Resource: Working with FEMA to Fund Non-Congregate Shelter During COVID-19

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) issued a memo which “outlines the varying scope of assistance available to state governments under Category B for non-congregate sheltering of people experiencing homelessness and other individuals living in congregate settings, such as people with disabilities. The memorandum also provides key information for advocates seeking to maximize FEMA resources in their states.” NLIHC also writes that the memo seeks to “guide conversations between advocates, their state government representatives, and FEMA.”

In summary, the four recommendations issued in the memo are to:

  • Urge state public health officials to release guidance explicitly stating that providing non-congregate shelter is needed for all people living in congregate settings.
  • Urge clarity on program rules, including rules related to reimbursement eligibility, the use of matching funds, and the duplication of benefits, in any agreement reached between FEMA and state officials.
  • Urge governors to request FEMA reimbursements for the entire population identified in the state’s public health directive.
  • Urge elected officials to share information about all available resources with organizations working directly with individuals living in congregate settings, including housing and homeless service providers.

The memo also lists information on seven statewide plans for FEMA-reimbursable, non-congregate sheltering of individuals experiencing homelessness and other populations needing space for social isolation.