83 under the nrf the department serves as the primary

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83 Under the NRF, the department serves as the primary agency for ESF #8 (Public Health and Medical Services) to respond to the public health and medical consequences resulting from natural disasters and human-caused incidents. The Secretary of HHS has general authority under the Public Health Service Act to provide public health assistance to states, upon their request, without a Stafford Act declaration. In addition, the Secretary has authority to determine that a public health emergency exists. 84 Pursuant to such a determination, the Secretary may waive certain administrative requirements, provide additional forms of assistance, and take certain other actions to expand federal aid to state and local governments, not-for-profit entities, and others. In either case, however, the Secretary lacks a dedicated funding mechanism for the provision of assistance. Department of Housing of Housing and Urban Development 85 The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may play a variety of roles in disaster recovery. When the President declares a major disaster, HUD may offer waivers of various program rules and regulations to allow communities to use their existing HUD program funding and resources to meet needs arising from the disaster. 86 In some years, Congress has provided additional appropriations for these programs—particularly the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program—to be used specifically for disaster assistance and recovery. Similarly, in some years, Congress has provided HUD with funding to provide housing vouchers to disaster displaced survivors, in conjunction with FEMA, or directed FEMA to contract with HUD for the provision of such vouchers. HUD, through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), may also offer special mortgage insurance products to and special forbearance for borrowers affected by major disasters. 87 82 This section authored by Sarah A. Lister, Specialist in Public Health and Epidemiology, Domestic Social Policy Division. For further analysis on public health and medical emergencies see CRS Report RL33579, The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding , by Sarah A. Lister. 83 See HHS, Public Health and Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreements (a type of grant), at ; and Hospital Preparedness Program, at preparedness/planning/hpp/pages/default.aspx. 84 Public Health Service Act §319; 42 U.S.C. 247d. 85 This section authored by Maggie McCarty, Specialist in Housing Policy, Domestic Social Policy Division. 86 For example, communities may amend their community development plans and reprogram existing Community Development Block Grant funds without prior HUD approval, citing the “urgent need” objectives of program. 87 For more information on the role of HUD in disaster response see CRS Report RS22358, The Role of HUD Housing Programs in Response to Hurricane Katrina , by Maggie McCarty, Libby Perl, and Eugene Boyd; CRS Report RL33078, The Role of HUD Housing Programs in Response to Past Disasters , by Maggie McCarty, Libby Perl, and Bruce E. Foote; and CRS Report RL33330,

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