Developing a Rebuilding Plan

ID 145724096 © Susan Sheldon |


...forward the request to FEMA to ensure that the Improved Project complies with appropriate EHP laws, regulations and Executive Orders.

Alternate Projects

In some instances, Subrecipients may determine that the public welfare will not be best served by restoring a damaged facility or its function to the pre-disaster design. In this event, they may request to use the Public Assistance grant for that facility for other purposes - Alternate Project(s). Subrecipients may request an Alternate Project in lieu of both small and large projects, but only for permanent restoration projects (category C-G). Debris removal and emergency protective measures projects are not eligible for the Alternate Project provisions.

Luckily for Subrecipients, with the passage into law of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA), the Alternate Project reductions of the federal share have been removed. Previously, the Stafford Act provided that Subrecipients that used FEMA funcing for alternate project (in lieu of repairing, restorin, reconstructing, or replacing the damaged facility) had to take a hit on the federal share of the costs - states and local governments could only get 90 percent of the federal share, while private non-profits could get 75 percent. The DRRA amends the Stafford Act to remove the reduction in funding. A Subrecipient can now choose to pursue an alternate project without facing a reduction in otherwise eligible assistance.

Unlike with Improved Projects, Subrecipients must obtain approval from FEMA for all Alternate Projects, regardless of EHP laws, regulations and Executive Orders. If the Alternate Project involves construction, the Subrecipient must also obtain FEMA approval prior to the start of construction.

Alternate Project funding cannot be used for operating costs or to meet the state or local cost share requirements on other Public Assistance projects or projects that utilize other federal grants, but may be...

“For Alternative Procedures Projects, FEMA, the state and the Subrecipient must reach agreement on the capped amount within 12 months of the declaration date.”