Rebuilding Under the FEMA Public Assistance Program

T IDALBAS INGROUP.COM 3 developed the Cost Estimating Format (CEF) to help with articulating repairs needed and estimating the total project cost. Its use should only be on large projects (above $1 million for fiscal year 2022) for which the permanent restorative work (categories C, D, E, F, and G) is less than 90 percent complete. The CEF estimate, when properly prepared , helps develop a more thorough and accurate estimate — including soft costs, ensuring that applicants as well as FEMA have an accurate budget to work with. Do the Repairs Exceed 50 Percent of Replacement (“The 50 Percent Rule”)? Once the estimated cost to repair the facility is established, it is time to consider whether it may be eligible for replacement. To do this, you must develop a cost to completely replace the facility to the same form, function, and design as it existed prior to the triggering event. This replacement cost estimate is then compared to the repair cost estimate as follows2: 1. In accordance with 44 CFR §206.226(f ), a facility is eligible for replacement when the repair cost exceeds 50 percent of the replacement cost. The comparison of repair costs with replacement costs results in a fraction that expresses repair as a percentage of replacement. 2. The numerator of the fraction is the cost of repairing disaster-related damage only and includes costs associated with codes and standards upgrades that apply to the repair of the damaged elements only. The numerator does not include costs associated with: a. Upgrades of non-damaged elements even if required by codes and standards. b. Demolition beyond that which is essential to repair the damaged elements. c. Site work —any exterior work at the site. Examples include: • Excavation • Backfill • Erosion control • Utility installation • Paving d. Soft costs — those not considered as direct construction costs, including: • Architectural costs • Engineering costs • Project Management costs • Financing • Legal fees • Other pre-/post-constructionexpenses