Private Nonprofit Facility Eligibility

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The guidelines for eligibility of Private Nonprofit organizations and facilities have been refined over the past several years as eligibility issues have surfaced. The regulatory definition of a Private Nonprofit organization and facility can be found in 44 CFR §206.221. However, Private Nonprofit organizations offer so many types of services that it is still necessary to provide additional policy guidance regarding organizations and services listed in the regulations and in the preamble of the final rule published at 58 Federal Register (FR) 47992, September 14, 1993.

Below are examples of private nonprofit facilities that could be expected to request eligibility determinations under Disaster Assistance Policy 9521.3.

Parkland Hospital Medical Office Building

Parkland Hospital is an eligible PNP that owns a medical office building and leases a portion of it to doctors and laboratories that are providing for-profit services. The for-profit leases are 70% of the floor space excluding the common area floor space as defined in this policy.


The building is not eligible because the eligible services were offered in less than 50% of the building space. If the for-profit leases had not exceeded the 50% threshold, the grant assistance would have been pro-rated based on the percentage of the building occupied by the eligible nonprofit services.

Springtown Recreation Center

The PNP Springtown Recreation Center claims that it provides eligible essential government services in addition to its recreation activities and should be eligible for assistance. The organization claims that its services now include day care for elderly adults, senior citizen center programs, programs for battered spouses, and shelter workshops. These programs are provided by the recreation center staff and offered five days a week. Recreation activities are limited to evenings and weekends. The entire center is used for the eligible services.


The organization would not appear to be eligible based upon its name and presumed mission. A detailed examination is necessary to determine the eligibility of the organization and its facility based upon the eligible services provided. In cases where space is not dedicated to any specific activity, the amount of time dedicated to eligible purposes in such spaces will determine eligibility and the level of assistance. Therefore, even though the entire facility is used for eligible purposes, the level of FEMA assistance will be pro-rated based on the proportion of the total time it is used for eligible services.

Community Church School

The Community Church operates a State certified school offering first through eighth grades. The teaching curriculum includes math, science, English, history, physical education and religious doctrine. The school has an average attendance of 500 students. The church has constructed three education buildings that are used exclusively by the school. The church occasionally uses the education buildings for religious activities. The school occasionally uses the church, but that use is always substantially less than 50%.


Look at the church and three education buildings separately. The three education buildings are eligible because: a) the school meets FEMA requirements to be considered an eligible education institution; b) the buildings generally are not used for ineligible purposes and their primary purpose is to serve the school; and c) the few religious classes in the curriculum is not sufficient to influence the primary use for secular education. However, in the spaces used for eligible and ineligible purposes, the level of FEMA assistance will be based on the proportion of the total time that such spaces are used for eligible purposes. The church's primary use is an ineligible service under the governing statutes and regulations and its peripheral use by the school is not sufficient to establish its eligibility.

Southlake Hospital Parking Garage

The parking garage is owned by an eligible PNP hospital to support its nearby hospital facility. The ground floor that faces a busy public street is leased to retail businesses. The leased space occupies 15 percent of the total space of the garage.


44 CFR 206.221(e) authorizes assistance for administrative and support facilities essential to the operation of medical facilities and emergency facilities, which in this example includes Southlake Hospital’s parking garage. Since the hospital uses more than 50% of the parking garage, the facility is eligible based on primary use. The leased space does not make the garage ineligible because it only represents 15% of the total space in the facility. FEMA assistance would be pro-rated based on the percentage of space used for the eligible parking purpose. If the leased space had exceeded 50% of the facility space, the primary use of the facility would become ineligible. The parking garage is eligible only because of its association with the hospital.

Woodlands Homeowners' Association

The Woodlands Homeowners' Association is a PNP organization responsible for providing certain services for a two hundred home development. The Homeowners' Association’s services are local neighborhood streets, water system, sewage system, fire station, medical clinic, neighborhood park, community center and a recreational lake and dam.


The Homeowners' Association operates facilities that provide essential government services and therefore is an eligible PNP. The lake and dam, park and streets do not meet the definition of eligible facilities. The water and sewage systems meet the definition of a utility and are eligible for assistance. The fire station and medical clinic are eligible as emergency and medical facilities. The community center might be eligible if it is open to the general public outside the Homeowners' Association community and if it is established and primarily used as a gathering place for a variety of social, educational enrichment and community service activities (i.e., meeting the requirements of RR Policy 9521.1).

Midwest Methodist University

The University is a private nonprofit education facility as defined in the Stafford Act, Section 102. It is supported by the United Methodist Church organization and offers both secular and religious education. The State’s Department of Education officially recognizes the University as a school of higher education offering courses such as history, math, English, science, theology, religious education and religious counseling. The University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in all fields of study. The campus consists of a large number of buildings for education, administration and religious worship.


Damaged buildings that are primarily used for secular courses normally found on university campuses are eligible. Buildings containing student and administrative services also are eligible because they support educational, emergency, or medical facilities (as outlined in 44 CFR 206.221). The damaged buildings with religious courses must be carefully reviewed for eligibility. If a damaged building is primarily used for religious worship or religious instruction, it is not eligible because a peripheral eligible service is not sufficient to establish the eligibility of a facility.


Last Updated: 
06/16/2015 - 09:19
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