DHS Releases 2021 Funding Notices for Eight Grants
Thursday, February 25, 2021 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released funding notices for eight different types of preparedness grants worth nearly $1.87 billion for 2021.

The fiscal year 2021 grant guidance will continue to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats and national priorities. This year, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 31 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This represents Congressional intent to limit these funds to those urban areas that represent up to 85% of the nationwide risk.

As the threats to the nation evolve, so too must the grant programs intended to prepare communities for those threats. To that end, DHS identified five critical priority areas for attention in the 2021 fiscal year grant cycle: cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, intelligence and information sharing, domestic violent extremism, and emerging threats.

Grant recipients under the State Homeland Security Program and UASI will be required to dedicate a minimum of 30% of awards to address these five priority areas: cybersecurity (7.5%, an increase of at least $25 million across the country); soft target and crowded places (5%); information and intelligence sharing (5%); domestic violent extremism (7.5%); and emerging threats (5%).

As with previous years, new capabilities that are built using homeland security grant funding must be deployable if needed to support regional and national efforts. All capabilities being built or sustained must have a clear linkage to the core capabilities articulated in the National Preparedness Goal.

The State Homeland Security Program provides $415 million to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based state homeland security strategies to address capability targets. Awards are based on statutory minimums and relative risk as determined by the DHS/Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) risk methodology. UASI provides $615 million to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 31 high-threat, high-density areas. Awards are based on relative risk as determined by the DHS/FEMA risk methodology.

For both the state homeland and urban area grants, 30% of the awards must address the five priority areas of cybersecurity, soft target and crowded places, information and intelligence sharing, domestic violent extremism, and emerging threats. Additionally, 25% of these grants must be dedicated to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities, and 80% of these grants must be obligated from the state to local or tribal governments within 45 days of receipt.

The Emergency Management Performance Grant provides more than $355 million to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities. Relative population is considered.

Intercity Passenger Rail provides $10 million to Amtrak to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of the Amtrak rail system. Award made per congressional direction.

There are a variety of competitive grants aside from the above grants and exact awards for those grants will be announced later this year.

Operation Stonegarden provides $90 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among state, local, tribal, territorial and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

The Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program provides $15 million to eligible tribal nations to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program provides $180 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. This year, $90 million is provided to nonprofits in UASI-designated urban areas, and $90 million is provided to nonprofits outside of UASI-designated urban areas located in any state or territory.

The Port Security Grant Program provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve portwide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.

The Transit Security Grant Program provides $88 million to owners and operators of public transit systems to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.

The Intercity Bus Security Grant Program provides $2 million to owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.

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