Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009

In 1974, the Disaster Relief Act (Public Law 93-288) was passed to help relieve state and local governments and citizens of suffering and damage resulting from disasters. The act's objectives include broadening the scope of existing disaster relief programs and providing new federal assistance programs for both public and private losses sustained in disasters. One new program created by the act was the Individual and Family Grant Program (IFGP). The act specified that the IFGP was to be administered by the Governor of the state.

In 1975, the Texas Disaster Act was passed to clarify and strengthen the roles of the Governor, state agencies, and local governments in disaster response and recovery. Under this law, the Governor may designate the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to provide financial aid to individuals and families qualified for disaster relief.

In 1988, the Stafford Act (Public Law 100-707) amended the 1974 law. The new law included an increase in the maximum grant allowable under the IFGP from $5,000 to $10,000, to be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

In October 2002, the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390) amended the Stafford Act. The new law eliminated the Individual and Family Grant Program and Federal Temporary Housing Program as separate entities and established a new program, Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households (IHP). The new program has two provisions of assistance:

  • Housing Assistance (HA) is 100 percent funded and administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • Other Needs Assistance (ONA) is 75 percent funded by FEMA and 25 percent by the state. The state may administer the ONA program. HHSC will administer ONA in Texas. Combined Housing and Other Needs Assistance to an individual or household cannot exceed the FEMA maximum grant amount adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.

HHSC administers the ONA provision of the IHP in major disasters declared by the President in accordance with 44 CFR, Part 206, Subpart D - Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households. The new law was implemented for all disasters declared after Oct. 15, 2002.