Better Oversight and Planning are Needed to Improve FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program February 11, 2021 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC 20528 / www.oig.dhs.gov February 11, 2021 MEMORANDUM FOR: Robert Fenton Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator Federal Emergency Management Agency 4 F FROM: Joseph V. Cuffari, Ph.D. JOSEPH V Digitally signed by JOSEPH V Inspector General CUFFARI CUFFARI 6 F Date: 2021.02.10 15:35:02 -05'00' SUBJECT: Better Oversight and Planning Are Needed to Improve FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program For your action is our final report, Better Oversight and Planning are Needed to Improve FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program. We incorporated the formal comments provided by your office. 9 F The report contains two recommendations aimed at improving the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. Your office concurred with both recommendations. Based on information provided in your response to the draft report, we consider recommendations 1 and 2 open and resolved. Once your office has fully implemented the recommendations, please submit a formal closeout letter to us within 30 days so that we may close the recommendations. The memorandum should be accompanied by evidence of completion of agreed- upon corrective actions and of the disposition of any monetary amounts. Please send your response or closure request to OIGAuditsFollowup@oig.dhs.gov. Consistent with our responsibility under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, we will provide copies of our report to congressional committees with oversight and appropriation responsibility over the Department of Homeland Security. We will post the report on our website for public dissemination. Please call me with any questions, or your staff may contact Thomas Kait, 16 F Acting Assistant Inspector General for Audits, at (202) 981-6000. 18 F Attachment www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG HIGHLIGHTS Better Oversight and Planning Are Needed to Improve FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program February 11, 2021 What We Found 26F Why We Did The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided hotel rooms to about 90,000 This Audit 19F households (nearly 227,000 survivors) after the 27F 28F 2017 California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, FEMA is responsible for Irma, and Maria. However, FEMA did not oversee helping state and and manage the Transitional Sheltering Assistance territorial governments (TSA) program to ensure it operated efficiently and develop pre-disaster effectively to meet disaster survivors’ needs. 30F plans for mass care, Specifically, FEMA: emergency assistance, transitional sheltering, did not accurately validate taxes charged for interim housing, and hotel rooms and did not ensure the contractor 31F human services. For the 20F responsible for administering the TSA program 2017 disasters, FEMA maintained accurate records to show taxes spent about $642 million charged were reasonable and allocable; 32F for hotel rooms for paid for unoccupied rooms; disaster survivors in the 3F did not transition survivors from TSA hotels to TSA program. We 21F interim or permanent housing timely; and conducted this audit to 34F did not adequately coordinate with states and determine to what extent a territory to prepare initial housing strategies. FEMA met survivors’ 35F transitional sheltering The deficiencies occurred because FEMA officials needs. 2F did not establish standard operating procedures and a dedicated program office with sufficient staff What We to support the TSA program. As a result, FEMA paid more than $55.8 million in unverified taxes, Recommend 23F disbursed indeterminate amounts for unoccupied 37F rooms, and left over 146,000 disaster survivors to We made two 38F remain in hotels for more than the recommended recommendations that, 39F 30 days. when implemented, will 40F improve FEMA’s oversight and pre- FEMA Response 41F disaster planning of transitional sheltering. 24F FEMA concurred with both recommendations. For Further Information 25F Contact our Office of Public Affairs at (202) 981-6000, or email us at DHS-OIG.OfficePublicAffairs@oig.dhs.gov www.oig.dhs.gov OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Background 42F In 2017, the Gulf Coast, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico endured major 43F 4F 45F hurricanes that made landfall from August through September. During 46F October 2017, nearly two dozen wildfires burned more than 200,000 acres of land in northern California. These events resulted in Presidential declarations 47F for Hurricanes Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida and Puerto Rico, 48F 49F 50F Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and the wildfires in California. 51F 52F The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is the statutory authority for most Federal disaster response activities, especially for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its programs. The 53F Response – Federal Interagency Operational Plan (Plan) supports these activities and describes how the Federal Government should coordinate efforts in response to disasters. According to the Plan, FEMA is responsible for helping 54F states and other territorial governments develop pre-disaster plans for mass care, emergency assistance, transitional sheltering, interim housing, and human services. Before and during disaster response, the Mass Care and 5F 56F Emergency Assistance Branch (Mass Care), within FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery, is directly responsible for preparing and managing the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program. 57F The TSA program is a form of temporary shelter such as hotel rooms for survivors who will be displaced from 5 to 14 days. The program may extend to 30 days and, in rare cases, can be extended up to 6 months. Survivors qualify 58F for TSA if they: are registered with FEMA for assistance and pass identity and citizenship verification; have a pre-disaster primary residence in the area designated for TSA; are displaced from their pre-disaster residence due to the disaster; have remained in transitional, congregate, or other shelters; and are unable to obtain lodging through another source. 59F The TSA program is designed to transition survivors from congregate shelters to hotels. Survivors are then transitioned from hotels and into interim 60F housing, if needed, or into a permanent residence. Interim housing is a long- 61F term option up to 18 months until a permanent housing option becomes available. Interim housing includes lodging in manufactured homes or FEMA’s 62F 63F short-term leasing programs. For permanent housing, FEMA provides 64F survivors with financial assistance to make repairs to their pre-disaster www.oig.dhs.gov 1 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security dwellings or enter into leasing agreements. (See Figure 1 and Appendix C for 65F 6F more details on housing programs and types of sheltering.) Figure 1. Types of Temporary Sheltering and Housing Programs Source: Office of Inspector General (OIG) analysis of response – Federal Interagency Operational Plan (Aug. 2016) 67F Since 2005, Corporate Lodging Consultants (CLC) has administered the TSA program and pays hotels for eligible stays. FEMA awarded CLC its latest 68F contract in May 2016. FEMA’s responsibilities for the TSA program include 69F determining disaster survivors’ eligibility for the TSA program, notifying 70F applicants of their eligibility status, and sending eligibility information to CLC. 71 72F Subsequently, CLC adds disaster survivors’ information to its Emergency Lodging Assistance system, which allows eligible survivors to check into 73F participating hotels anywhere in the Nation. For the 2017 disasters, FEMA 74 provided hotel rooms to about 90,000 households (nearly 227,000 survivors) 75F 76F and spent approximately $642 million in lodging costs for over 5 million nights 7F in TSA-participating hotels, as of October 2018. 78F We conducted this audit to determine to what extent FEMA met survivors’ transitional sheltering needs. This is a follow-up to prior related audits of the FEMA-TSA contract and program. 1 0F 1 Management Alert – FEMA Did Not Safeguard Disaster Survivors’ Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information, OIG-19-32, Mar. 15, 2019; Additional Controls Needed to Better Manage FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program, OIG-19-37, Mar. 29, 2019; and www.oig.dhs.gov 2 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Results of Audit 81F FEMA Did Not Sufficiently Oversee and Manage the TSA Program 82 F FEMA did not sufficiently oversee and manage the TSA program to ensure it operated efficiently and effectively to meet disaster survivors’ needs. 83F Specifically, FEMA officials did not validate taxes charged for hotel rooms and 84F did not ensure CLC maintained accurate records. FEMA also paid for 85F unoccupied rooms and did not ensure timely transition of survivors from hotels 86F to interim or permanent housing. These deficiencies occurred because FEMA 87F officials did not establish a dedicated TSA program office with the staff needed to develop standard operating procedures and coordinate with states to prepare 89F disaster-housing strategies in advance of disasters. 90F FEMA Did Not Verify Accuracy of Hotel Taxes and Records 91F According to Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, FEMA must ensure efficient operations that minimize waste of resources. Consistent with Federal Acquisition Regulations, contractors are responsible for appropriately accounting for costs by maintaining accurate records to ensure costs are reasonable and allocable. 93F Despite these requirements, FEMA officials did not accurately validate taxes charged for hotel rooms under the TSA program and did not ensure CLC 94 maintained accurate records to confirm taxes charged were reasonable and accurate. Specifically, CLC used its Emergency Lodging Assistance system to 95F receive hotel payment requests, in the form of electronic invoices, but did not require hotels to provide detailed itemization of room rates, taxes, and fees. As 96F permitted by the TSA contract,2 CLC sent FEMA invoice reports that lumped all hotel charges together in one total that included room costs, taxes, and fees. 97F FEMA’s review process to identify erroneous charges on the invoice reports 98F consisted of only two steps: 1) FEMA verified whether the dates billed for the hotel nights were within the survivor’s eligibility period; and FEMA Did Not Properly Award and Oversee the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Contract, OIG- 20-58, Aug. 5, 2020. 2 FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance Contract with CLC (Order Number: HSFE80-16-0211; May 13, 2016). www.oig.dhs.gov 3 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security 2) FEMA verified whether the total nightly amounts billed did not exceed the FEMA approved lodging rate for the corresponding disasters. 9F This two-step process could not fully determine if TSA program costs were allowable and did not permit FEMA to ensure costs were accurate, reasonable, and allocable as required by Federal Acquisition Regulations. The review process limited FEMA’s reimbursements to ceilings based on the approved lodging rates. FEMA’s review process also did not align with the TSA contract stating FEMA would cover the lodging taxes and fees in addition to applicable lodging rates. Therefore, FEMA should consider all those components separately when reviewing hotel charges. As such, the process adversely affected hotels’ ability to accurately charge room taxes for survivors sheltered under the TSA program. 103F Based on our review of lodging data reported to CLC by hotels, we requested an itemization of the underlying hotel charges including taxes. In February 2019, CLC provided OIG with data for 4,120 TSA-participating hotels that reported 105F taxes charged to CLC for rooms supplied to survivors of the 2017 disasters. These hotels charged about $471 million for about 3.9 million hotel room 107F nights, of which $55.8 million was for taxes . 109F We reviewed the tax data provided by CLC and identified numerous instances in which the amounts listed in the tax lines did not align with the corresponding city’s tax rate. For example, the New York, NY tax rate is 14.75 10F percent. However, according to CLC’s data, the taxes charged by hotels in New 1F York city ranged from 1 percent to as high as 22 percent. Similarly, the CLC 12F data showed tax amounts charged by hotels in Orlando, FL; Houston, TX; and Santa Rosa, CA, that also did not align with the corresponding city’s tax rates. 13F We reviewed a judgmental sample of 2,964 hotel bills of which only 744 (about 14F 25 percent) matched the corresponding city’s tax rate. (See Table 1 and 15F Appendix D for details.) www.oig.dhs.gov 4 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Table 1. Percent of Bills with Questionable Tax Charges Source: OIG analysis of CLC data 6F Without reviewing the itemized costs, FEMA has no assurance the hotel costs charged were accurate or allowable. We therefore question the accuracy of the $55.8 million FEMA paid in taxes to hotels during the 2017 disasters. 18F FEMA Paid for Unoccupied Hotel Rooms 19F To verify applicant eligibility for the TSA program,3 FEMA requires hotel personnel to ensure disaster survivors complete TSA Terms and Conditions forms with survivor information, FEMA registration number, check-in date, 120F signature, and date acknowledging acceptance of TSA program requirements. 12F As indicated in our March 2019 report , FEMA paid hotels participating in the 21F TSA program for an indeterminate number of unoccupied rooms. For example, 124F FEMA identified five instances of disaster survivors departing the TSA program without notifying FEMA or hotel personnel. The hotels continued to bill FEMA 125F 3 As required per FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance Playbook, Aug. 2017. www.oig.dhs.gov 5 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security for the rooms even though the disaster survivors had vacated the hotels. In 126F these five instances, FEMA collectively paid TSA hotels about $4,700 for 41 nights of unoccupied rooms. 127F Although FEMA required disaster survivors to sign and date TSA Terms and Conditions forms at check-in , FEMA did not require survivors to document or 128F notify FEMA or hotel personnel upon checkout. Additionally, we determined that FEMA did not provide information on its TSA Terms and Conditions form for reporting allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse .4 As a result, FEMA is 130F uncertain about the true magnitude of unnecessary payments for unoccupied hotel rooms from August 27, 2017, to September 14, 2018 . Further, in 31F 132F response to our March 2019 interim report, FEMA has updated its Terms and Conditions forms, starting with Hurricane Florence in 2018, to include a hotline number for reporting fraud.5 FEMA Did Not Ensure Survivors’ Timely Transition from TSA Hotels to Interim or Permanent Housing 134F The DHS Response Federal Interagency Operational Plan6 and FEMA’s National 135F Disaster Housing Strategy7 direct FEMA to work with states to create initial 136F housing strategies in preparation for disasters. To do so, FEMA will work with state entities to conduct joint planning to address housing needs, engage appropriate stakeholders, identify a range of options, describe how those options would be implemented, and identify the necessary resources . Once 138F disasters occur, FEMA is required to adapt the initial housing strategies to address actual incidents. An initial housing strategy helps ensure FEMA is 139F better prepared and able to transition survivors quickly from congregate and transitional shelters to interim or permanent housing . 140F 14F However, FEMA did not transition survivors from TSA hotels timely following the 2017 disasters. FEMA officials acknowledged that the DHS Response 142F 143F Federal Interagency Operational Plan instructs the component to work with the states prior to a disaster to develop a temporary housing strategy . However, for 41F the 2017 disasters, FEMA did not dedicate staff to support this effort, and 145F many states did not have temporary housing strategies in place. Further, FEMA also stated that although some states used housing strategies in 2018, FEMA did not have a standardized national approach for the 2017 disasters. Consequently, FEMA allowed TSA program extensions beyond the 4 FEMA TSA Terms and Conditions Form – DR-4339-PR (Updated Nov. 1, 2017). 5 FEMA TSA Terms and Conditions Form – DR-4393-NC (Updated Sept. 20, 2018). 6 DHS Response Federal Interagency Operational Plan (Second Edition; Aug. 2016). 7 FEMA’s National Disaster Housing Strategy (Jan. 16, 2009). www.oig.dhs.gov 6 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security recommended 30-day stay for the 2017 disaster survivors without transitioning 147F them to interim or permanent housing as required . To illustrate, FEMA 148F extended hotel stays up to 4 months for all survivors participating in the TSA Program from the four disasters and did not transition survivors as required. 149F Further, based on our analysis of the various FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance Extension Request memos, for disaster survivors of Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey, FEMA waived the recommended 6-month maximum timeframe for participation and extended some survivors’ hotel stays to almost a year.15F Because FEMA did not have a strategy to transition survivors to interim or permanent housing, more than 26,700 disaster survivors remained in hotels 152F past the TSA Program’s recommended 6-month timeframe. (See Table 2 column A for TSA disaster declaration dates and column B for disaster survivors participating during the 2017 disasters.) Table 2. TSA Activation Timelines and Populations after the 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires 154F Survivors Survivors Survivors in Disaster End Date in Hotels in Hotels Hotels at Disaster and Declaration for TSA after 3O after 6 End of TSA Location Date Programs Days Months Programs 15F 156F 159FQQQQ1 (A) (D) 157F 158F 160F (B) (C) (E) Hurricane Harvey 8/25/2017 92,278 20,919 6/30/2018 1,184 in Texas 162 F 163 164F 165 F 61F Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico 9/10/2017 168 F 17,000 * 5,814* 9/13/2018 2,082 167F Hurricane Maria 169F 170F 17 F 172F 9/20/2017 in Puerto Rico 174 F 173F Hurricane Irma in Florida 175F 9/10/2017 36,179 - 178F 3/10/2018 179 F 2,439 180F Wildfires in California 18F 10/10/2017 182F 915 183F - 184F 3/15/2018 185 F 2 186F TOTAL 187F 146,372 18F 26,733 189F 5,707 Source: DHS OIG analysis of FEMA data 19F * Combined registrant count for Hurricanes Irma and Maria Further, thousands of survivors were still sheltering in TSA-participating hotels when FEMA ended the TSA programs and stopped providing these transitional sheltering benefits. (See Table 2, columns D and E for details). FEMA was 192 www.oig.dhs.gov 7 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security unable to confirm whether the more than 5,700 survivors in hotels 193F successfully transitioned to interim or permanent housing. 195F FEMA Did Not Have Standard Operating Procedures and a Dedicated Program Office for the TSA Program 196F According to the Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government,8 1F management should establish an organizational structure, assign responsibility, and delegate authority to achieve the entity’s objectives. This 197F entails management providing an understanding of the overall responsibilities, assigning the responsibilities to discrete business units to enable the organization to operate in an efficient and effective manner, and implementing control activities through policies and procedures. 198F Deficiencies in the TSA program were due to FEMA officials not implementing 19F effective internal controls . Specifically, FEMA did not develop and implement 20F standard operating procedures to carry out processes and activities of the TSA program . Additionally, FEMA did not establish a dedicated program office with 201F staff to oversee and manage the TSA program. FEMA assigned a single headquarters official as the TSA program manager during the 2017 disasters, 203F but the role was secondary to the official’s primary duties. FEMA also assigned field personnel in the regions to oversee disaster activities of their TSA program, but the program tasks were either secondary or tertiary duties. 205F According to FEMA management, the component plans to create a dedicated TSA program office. However, as of May 2020, FEMA’s Office of Response and 206F Recovery had not yet formally approved the proposed TSA business unit concept or assigned full-time employees to manage the TSA program. Without 207F a dedicated TSA program office to improve overall program oversight and management, develop standard operating procedures, and work with states to 209F develop housing strategies prior to disasters , FEMA risks not meeting disaster 210F survivors’ needs in future catastrophic events. 12F Recommendations 21F Recommendation 1: We recommend FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery direct the Mass Care and Emergency Assistance Branch to establish a business unit, assign responsibility, and delegate authority to ensure the effective and efficient implementation, oversight, and management of the TSA program. 214F 8 Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO-14-704G, Sept. 2014. www.oig.dhs.gov 8 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Recommendation 2: We recommend FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery direct the Mass Care and Emergency Assistance Branch to develop, document, and implement standard operating procedures for the TSA Program specifically designed and implemented to ensure: CLC collects and maintains detailed cost data and FEMA verifies that costs and taxes are reasonable, allocable, and accurate; FEMA does not pay for unoccupied hotel rooms and consistently requires disaster survivors to personally sign and date the TSA Terms and Conditions form during the hotel checkout process; FEMA and CLC transition survivors from hotels to interim or permanent housing within the TSA program’s 6-month timeframe; and 216F FEMA works with states and territories to develop initial temporary sheltering and interim housing strategies before disasters occur, as required by the Response Federal Interagency Operational Plan, so FEMA best meets the needs of disaster survivors going forward . 217F FEMA Management Comments and OIG Analysis 218F FEMA concurred with both recommendations. We included a copy of the Management Comments in their entirety in Appendix B. We also received technical comments to the draft report and revised the report as appropriate. A summary of FEMA’s responses and our analysis follows. FEMA Response to Recommendation 1: Concur. According to FEMA, the Individual Assistance Division established a dedicated TSA unit under the Mass Care, Voluntary Agency Coordination and Community Services Branch to oversee the implementation and management of the TSA program and non- congregate sheltering efforts in response to future events. Currently, there is one full-time dedicated staff member with three additional detailees to provide support. Mass Care is preparing to on-board additional staff to support this unit. OIG’s Analysis: We are pleased FEMA is standing up the TSA unit. This recommendation will remain resolved and open until FEMA provides documentation showing that the additional staff are on-board, assigned responsibility, and delegated authority to ensure the effective and efficient implementation, oversight, and management of the TSA program. FEMA’s Response to Recommendation 2: Concur. According to FEMA, the TSA unit is actively developing resources, tools, and procedures to support a more effective TSA program. www.oig.dhs.gov 9 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security OIG’s Analysis: Recommendation 2 is resolved and open until FEMA provides supporting documentation, including final approved copies of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Policy (FEMA Policy #104-009-20), the TSA Tool Kit, a sample of the new Terms and Conditions documents, and the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan signed by both FEMA and the contractor. www.oig.dhs.gov 10 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Appendix A Objective, Scope, and Methodology 20F The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General was established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107−296) by 21F amendment of the Inspector General Act of 1978. This audit addresses the 2F extent to which FEMA met disaster survivors' transitional sheltering needs after the California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. 23F To accomplish our objective, we reviewed Federal guidance, relevant documents, and applicable Federal laws. In addition, we conducted visits to Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico to gather documentation and visually inspect 25F hotels in the TSA program. We judgmentally selected locations based on the duration of participation and expenditures in the FEMA TSA program after the 2017 disasters. We interviewed Federal and state officials, officials from Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico’s departments of emergency management, and 27F more than 50 hotel managers from TSA-participating hotels in the locations. 28 We telephonically interviewed Federal and state officials in California assigned 29F to the same roles.230F At the national level, we interviewed officials from FEMA and the Department of 231F Housing and Urban Development to understand the process for planning, coordinating, and providing sheltering and interim housing services after major disasters. Similarly, we interviewed officials from CLC, the contractor FEMA 32F selected to administer the TSA program, to understand their roles and responsibilities in implementing the program. We also interviewed a 23F representative of the National Low Income Housing Coalition to gather information about experiences with disasters and observations regarding transitional sheltering and interim housing in response to the 2017 hurricanes and California wildfires. We performed extensive analyses using TSA records FEMA provided from August 2017 to October 2018. The data contained records for eligible 235F applicants participating in the TSA programs in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas and billing and invoices from TSA-participating hotels that served eligible disaster survivors from these locations. To assess the reliability 236F of the data, we interviewed knowledgeable FEMA officials about their process 237F for ensuring accurate applicant information is entered into CLC’s Emergency Lodging Assistance system, and reviewed a sample of the submissions to 238F identify missing or invalid data elements. We found the data to be sufficiently 239 reliable for the purposes of our reporting objective. 240F www.oig.dhs.gov 11 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security We evaluated FEMA’s actions against Federal internal control standards for oversight and documentation. We also evaluated FEMA’s efforts to develop pre- disaster strategies for sheltering and interim housing with Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas against FEMA’s responsibilities outlined in the Response Federal Interagency Operational Plan. 42F We conducted this performance audit between June 2018 and September 2019 pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, and according to 243F generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require 42F that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based upon our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable 245F basis for our findings and conclusions based upon our audit objectives. www.oig.dhs.gov 12 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Appendix B FEMA Comments to the Draft Report 247F www.oig.dhs.gov 13 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security www.oig.dhs.gov 14 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security www.oig.dhs.gov 15 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security www.oig.dhs.gov 16 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Appendix C Type of Sheltering and Interim Housing Options Provided to Survivors during the 2017 Responses9 249F Sheltering Options 250F Congregate Sheltering 251F Local and state territorial governments establish initial shelter operations. The 52F operations are often in public buildings, including coliseums, stadiums, and sports arenas, to provide a safe and secure environment for survivors. This 253F 254F option is a short-term solution ordinarily open for 60 days. Wrap-around 256F services include childcare; feeding; medical and mental health; access and functional needs support services; and support to children, household pets, and service animals. 257F Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) 258F FEMA may provide TSA services to applicants who are unable to return to their pre-disaster primary residence because the home is either uninhabitable or inaccessible. The goal of this program is to reduce the number of disaster survivors in congregate shelters by transitioning survivors into short-term accommodations, typically hotels. The program is usually intended to end after 30 days, but may be extended up to 6 months. 261F Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power 62F FEMA used Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power to assist state, territorial, and tribal governments in performing work and services essential to saving lives, protecting public health and safety, and protecting property to enable survivors to shelter at home. FEMA determined that this program could263F not be implemented as intended and discontinued use of the program in 2019. 264F Recreational Vehicles FEMA leases recreational vehicles from vendors and provides them to disaster survivors. Survivors may use the vehicles for up to 6 months during the sheltering phase. 26F 9Catastrophic Housing Annex to the 2012 Federal Interagency Operations Plan – Hurricane (Aug. 2012). www.oig.dhs.gov 17 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Interim Housing Options 267F Direct Lease 268F FEMA leases property from landlords and then provides housing units to 269F survivors when rental resources are unavailable in specific areas. 270F Manufactured Housing Units 271F Manufactured homes or other readily fabricated dwellings owned by FEMA are 72F provided to eligible applicants for use as interim housing for a limited time. 273F Multi-family Lease and Repair 274F FEMA repairs existing multi-family housing units, such as apartments, to use as interim housing for eligible applicants who are unable to use rental 275F assistance. 276F Rental Assistance 27F FEMA provides financial assistance to disaster survivors to rent interim housing units. The amount of rental assistance is based on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rents in the area where the rental resource is located. 10 279F2F 280 10The Department of Housing and Urban Development calculates Fair Market Rents including the cost of housing plus the cost of utilities to determine payment standard amounts for several of its housing programs. www.oig.dhs.gov 18 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Appendix D Detailed Sample of Hotels Participating in the TSA Program by City and Analysis of Hotel Tax Rates New York Orlando, Houston, Santa Rosa, City, State City, NY * FL TX CA Total # of Hotels 25281F 52 347 8 Total # of Nights 35,834 285F 114,006 286F 878,832 287F 6,431 28F Total # of Bills 152 289F 504 290F 2,229 291F 79 92F # of Bills Over 34 268 586 3 Location Tax Rate 293F 296F % of Bills Over 22% 53% 26% 4% Location Tax Rate 297F 298F 29F # of Bills At 80 40 576 48 Location Tax Rate 301F 03F 304F % of Bills At 53% 8% 26% 61% Location Tax Rate 305F 306F 307F 308F # of Bills Under 38 196 1,067 28 Location Tax Rate 309F 310F 312 % of Bills Under 25% 39% 48% 35% Location Tax Rate 13F 314F 315F 316F Location Tax Rates 14.75%** 317 12.50% 17.00% 14.00%** 320F Highest Over 20.78% 30.01% 30.10% 30.00% Taxed Rate 32F 23F 324F Lowest Under 0% 0.51% 0.03% 11.40% Taxed Rate 325F 326F 327F 328F Source: OIG analysis of CLC-provided data 329F * New York, NY data includes all five boroughs (New York, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx) and accounting for New York City and New York State Excise Taxes. ** Base lodging tax rate, but varying excise taxes also applicable and considered in our calculations. www.oig.dhs.gov 19 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Appendix E Office of Audits Major Contributors to This Report 31F Yesi Starinsky, Director 32F Andrew Smith, Audit Manager 3F James Lloyd, Auditor-in-Charge 34F Lauren Bullis, Auditor 35F Stephanie Holloway, Auditor 36F Corinn King, Auditor 37F Yvette Mabry, Auditor 38F Jessica Makowski, Program Analyst James Townsend, Program Analyst 340F Deborah Mouton-Miller, Communications Analyst; and 341F Barry Bruner, Auditor, Independent Report Referencer 342F www.oig.dhs.gov 20 OIG-21-20 OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Department of Homeland Security Appendix F Report Distribution 34F Department of Homeland Security Secretary Deputy Secretary Chief of Staff Deputy Chiefs of Staff General Counsel Executive Secretary Director, GAO/OIG Liaison Office Under Secretary, Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans Assistant Secretary for Office of Public Affairs Assistant Secretary for Office of Legislative Affairs DHS Component Liaison Office of Management and Budget 345F Chief, Homeland Security Branch DHS OIG Budget Examiner Congress Congressional Oversight and Appropriations Committees www.oig.dhs.gov 21 OIG-21-20 Additional Information and Copies To view this and any of our other reports, please visit our website at: www.oig.dhs.gov. For further information or questions, please contact Office of Inspector General Public Affairs at: DHS-OIG.OfficePublicAffairs@oig.dhs.gov. Follow us on Twitter at: @dhsoig. OIG Hotline To report fraud, waste, or abuse, visit our website at www.oig.dhs.gov and click on the red "Hotline" tab. If you cannot access our website, call our hotline at (800) 323-8603, fax our hotline at (202) 254-4297, or write to us at: Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, Mail Stop 0305 Attention: Hotline 245 Murray Drive, SW Washington, DC 20528-0305
Better Oversight and Planning are Needed to Improve FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program
Published by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General on 2021-02-11.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)