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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 071-U8M7N-00; Housing Authority of New Orleans
PW ID# project Worksheet 12483; Equipment Replacement
January 5, 2009
Colonel Thomas Kirkpatrick (Retired)
State Coordinating Officer
Governors Office of Homeland Security
and Emergency Preparedness
415 North 15th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Re: Second AppealHousing Authority of New Orleans, PA ID 071-U8M7N-00 Equipment Replacement
, FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Project Worksheet (PW) 12483
Dear Colonel Kirkpatrick:
This is in response to your letter dated June 4, 2008, which referenced the second appeal of the Housing Authority of New Orleans (Applicant), dated March 7, 2008. The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) decision not to reimburse for the replacement of vehicles and equipment identified in PW 12483.
The Applicant requested reimbursement for costs to replace cars, trucks, front-end loaders, drills, hand trucks, and landscaping equipment that it claimed were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. FEMA denied the request because FEMA does not fund the permanent repairs to section 9(k) public housing facilities pursuant to Recovery Division Policy 9523.7, Public Housing Authorities (PHAs)
. The Applicant submitted its first appeal on May 29, 2007. The Applicant stated that FEMAs interpretation of the above policy is inconsistent with the law and argued that FEMA can fund permanent work for certain PHAs. On September 26, 2007, Mr. James Stark, Director of the Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office, requested additional information from the Applicant to support its appeal, including the pre-disaster inventory of equipment, description of damages and location of damaged equipment, and copies of invoices for purchased equipment. The Applicant did not provide the requested information. Therefore, in a letter dated December 31, 2007, the Regional Administrator denied the first appeal because the Applicant did not provide information necessary to support its appeal. The Regional
Administrator made a distinction between permanent repairs that are not eligible for FEMA assistance based on Recovery Division Policy 9523.7, and replacement of vehicles and equipment, which he stated may be eligible for reimbursement.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on March 2, 2008, and subsequently requested an opportunity to present the second appeal orally to FEMA. FEMAs Public Assistance Division Director and staff met with representatives of the Applicant on August 5, 2008, in
Washington, D.C., to discuss the appeal. In its oral appeal, the Applicant focused on the issue of whether FEMA has the authority to fund permanent repairs of PHA facilities. During the August 5, 2008, meeting and in communication on August 6, 2008, with the States appeals manager and Applicants Authorized Representative, FEMA requested information regarding the vehicles and other equipment that was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
The Applicant requested reimbursement for cars, trucks, front-end loaders, as well as other equipment and tools such as drills, hand trucks, and landscaping equipment (mowers, blowers, etc.). The Applicant previously provided some invoices and purchase orders to support its claim. The invoices totaled $66,297 and the purchase order requests totaled $742,582. The total amount claimed was $808,879. Based on FEMAs request for additional information following the August 5, 2008, meeting, the Applicant provided a pre-disaster inventory of its cars and trucks which listed the make, model, year, identification numbers, site and location. In addition, it provided a status that was generally Flooded or OK. In many cases the information was incomplete or not recorded and could not be used to support the Applicants claim. The Applicant did not provide any information about its tools and other equipment.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Applicant is eligible to receive $124,728 to replace the 18 vehicles identified in the enclosed table. Therefore, I am partially approving the appeal. By copy of this letter, I am requesting that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement my decision, pursuant to guidance provided by James W. Stark in a memorandum dated March 7, 2008, regarding formulating improved projects for the replacement of equipment.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: William Peterson
FEMA Region VI