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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-U9NNG-00; University of New Orleans Property and Housing Development Foundation
PW ID# N/A; Request for Public Assistance
August 11, 2011
Disaster Recovery Division
State of Louisiana
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806
Re: Second Appeal– University of New Orleans Property and Housing Development
Foundation, Inc., PA ID 000-U9NNG-00, Request for Public Assistance, FEMA-1786-DR-LA
Dear Mr. DeBosier:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated September 16, 2010, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the University of New Orleans Property and Housing Development Foundation, Inc. (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to deny its Request for Public Assistance (RPA).
In October 2008, the University of New Orleans Property and the Applicant submitted an RPA for damages to the Homer L. Hitt Alumni and Visitor Center (Center) as a result of Hurricane Gustav. The Center is located on the University of New Orleans Lakefront Campus (University) and houses a grand ballroom, reception hall, a Boardroom, the Office of Alumni Affairs, the Alumni Association, a credit union, a catering kitchen and patios. On December 30, 2008, FEMA determined the Center was not an eligible facility and that the Applicant did not meet the basic eligibility requirements of owning and operating an eligible facility.
On November 20, 2009, the Applicant submitted its first appeal which was forwarded to FEMA on January 20, 2010. To support its claim of eligibility, the Applicant provided documentation from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to prove its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. An Affiliation Agreement and Lease Agreement between the Applicant and the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (Board) states that the Applicant owns and has legal responsibility for maintenance and repair of the Center.
On March 9, 2010, FEMA requested additional information to include a description of any space specifically designed and used for educational classes and to include the amount of time a space was used for accredited educational classes. On May 3, 2010, the Regional Administrator determined the Applicant met the requirements of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and had legal responsibility to repair the Center. However, it was also determined that the Center was not used in direct support of education as described in Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) 9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility. Upon receipt and review of the Applicant’s supplemental materials, FEMA upheld its first appeal decision and informed the State of its decision in a letter dated June 17, 2010.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on July 16, 2010, which was forwarded to FEMA from the State on September 16, 2010. The Applicant reiterates it argument that it is an eligible PNP applicant and that the Center meets the requirements of an eligible educational facility. The Applicant requested an oral presentation of its second appeal. On February 9, 2011, the Acting Director of the Public Assistance Division met with the Applicant in Washington, D.C. to discuss the appeal.
Pursuant to 44 CFR §206.222(b), Applicant eligibility, “Private non-private organizations or institutions which own or operate a private nonprofit facility…” are eligible to apply for a Public Assistance grant. FEMA DAP9521.3 Section (VII)(D)(1), Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility, states that “a facility must have over 50% of its space dedicated to eligible uses in order for any of the facility to be eligible.” Documentation provided during the oral presentation included a schedule of Center events and detailed examples of how the Center’s space and usage is allocated (for example, student academic advisory and administrative offices are housed in the Center, as well as an intensive English language program, international cultural exchange programs, engineering robotic competitions, architecture and engineering design competitions, and academic enrichment programs for Middle School students). This information substantiates the Applicant’s claim that the Center is used more than 50 percent of the time for educational purposes.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the documentation the Applicant provided demonstrates that the Applicant is eligible.
Therefore, I am approving the Applicant’s second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
cc: Tony Russell
FEMA Region VI