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Houses of worship may be eligible for FEMA help

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Posted at 3:08 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 16:08:56-05

BATON ROUGE, La.— Qualifying houses of worship in Louisiana may be eligible for FEMA grants to cover hurricane-related expenses.

Grants through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program can cover costs to repair or replace facilities damaged during a disaster. The program is funded by FEMA and administered through the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Office (GOHSEP).

The Request for Public Assistance (RPA) deadline for Hurricane Laura is Nov. 30. The RPA deadline for Hurricane Delta is Dec. 15.

FEMA defines religious facilities as a church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other house of worship without regard to the religious character of the facility.

Help with repairs and replacement costs may be available to houses of worship in parishes designated for the FEMA Public Assistance Program

To be an eligible applicant, a house of worship must:

  • Be owned or operated by a nonprofit.
  • Have damage caused by Hurricane Laura and/or Delta.
  • Have either not received funding or received insufficient funding after applying for a U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan to repair or replace a facility (see below).
  • Provide a current ruling letter from the IRS granting tax exemption under Section 501 (c) (d) or (e) of the IRS Code, or provide documentation from the state confirming it is a nonprofit.

Houses of worship may contact GOHSEP for details on how to apply for FEMA assistance. They can get more information or submit their Request for Public Assistance online by visiting louisianapa.com.

U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans are available for certain nonprofits with up to $2 million of property damage.

Apply online at sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov. For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit fema.gov/disaster/4559. For the latest information on Hurricane Delta, visit fema.gov/disaster/4570 or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

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