Q: COVID-19 CRA Disaster Areas. Are COVID-19 affected states and jurisdictions considered CRA designated disaster areas?
A: The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) national emergency raises unique needs for revitalization and stabilization activities that generally differ from those typically undertaken in response to natural disasters or other emergencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued major disaster declarations that include assistance for emergency protective measures (Public Assistance Category B) for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and certain U.S. territories in connection with COVID-19. Areas identified for Category B assistance are not normally considered designated disaster areas under CRA because of the temporary nature of the activities covered under this category of assistance. However, the agencies believe that it is appropriate to recognize such COVID-19 designated disaster areas due to the circumstances of this national pandemic; therefore, the agencies will grant consideration for activities that revitalize or stabilize these areas by protecting public health and safety, particularly for low- or moderate-income individuals, low- or moderate-income geographies, or distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies. Examples of qualified activities include loans, investments, or community development services that support:
Emergency medical care, including medical facility services and supplies, temporary medical facilities, and enhanced medical/hospital capacity;
Purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment;
Provision of emergency food supplies; or
Assistance to state, tribal, territorial, or local governments for emergency management and to support communications of general health and safety information to the public.
This Q&A was contained in the Frequently Asked Questions for Financial Institutions Affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Referred to as COVID-19) – As of March 3, 2021 (which may be updated from time to time). This may be found on the FDIC’s website here: https://www.fdic.gov/Coronavirus/faq-fi.pdf.