The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has lifted spending restrictions on long-term building projects after Congress passed a temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown. Over $16 billion was allocated to FEMA in the continuing resolution, allowing the agency to restart disaster-relief funding for 2,400 projects.
On Aug. 29, FEMA began restricting funding only to disaster relief projects with immediate needs, prompted by a series of major disasters that rapidly depleted the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). These restrictions had temporarily halted funding for long-term recovery projects related to previous disasters.
The agency typically covers 75% of post-disaster public facility reconstruction. The funding shortfall put FEMA’s operations at risk, affecting essential projects such as road and infrastructure repairs. Critical initiatives such as schools and hospitals damaged by natural disasters were also at risk.
This infusion of funds not only reinvigorates the DRF but also makes these resources immediately available for distribution within the next several weeks in areas such as Maui, where rebuilding key infrastructure damaged by wildfires over the summer is crucial.