Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced more than $2 billion in funding for eight fiscal year 2023 preparedness grant programs. These grant programs provide critical funding to help state, local, tribal, and territorial officials prepare for, prevent, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism.
Secretary Mayorkas issued the following statement on this year’s grant awards: “As the threats to our homeland continue to evolve, the Department of Homeland Security is fulfilling a key aspect of its mission by equipping state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities and nonprofit organizations, with vital resources to help them strengthen our nation’s preparedness. The new threat landscape now includes medium- and small-sized jurisdictions and remote locations and encompasses a greater swath of our country than ever before, to include so-called ‘soft targets’ and other targets of opportunity.
“This year, we are therefore expanding the reach of our more than $2 billion in funding by adding four additional urban areas as grant recipients: Austin, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Jacksonville, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee. This is in addition to the thirty-six urban areas we continue to support, bringing the total number of funded urban areas to 40.
“The law requires that at least 25% of the combined funds for the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) be dedicated to Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activities (LETPA). Last year, for the first time, we increased that minimum requirement to 30%, resulting in a $51.5 million increase from the prior year. This year, we are increasing the LETPA minimum requirement once again, to 35%. In total, LETPA funding will increase by $103 million — from $257.5 million to $360.5 million — over a two-year period. This increase will ensure critical support for law enforcement to better understand, recognize, prepare for, prevent, and respond to terrorist activity. We are also providing additional policy guidance that will help ensure that law enforcement and terrorism- focused grant funds are appropriately focused on terrorism prevention activities, thereby strengthening our national preparedness posture.
“DHS is fundamentally a department of partnerships, and today’s grants are vital to strengthening the capabilities of local communities, which are best positioned to ensure the safety and security of our homeland. As we did last year, we have again increased funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to provide essential resources to help protect nonprofit organizations at risk of terrorist attacks. I called on Congress to provide increased funding after the hostage situation at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Last year, Congress increased NSGP funding by $70 million. This year, Congress provided an additional $55 million increase, bringing the NSGP funding up from $180 million two years ago to $305 million this year. That kind of federal support is crucial to help nonprofit organizations across the nation make physical security enhancements to help protect against attacks. We are grateful to Congress for its critical support. We have also prioritized the participation of historically marginalized communities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in this critical program, to build their capacity and address an evolving threat environment.”
The Fiscal Year 2023 grant guidance will continue to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats. This year, the Urban Area Security Initiative will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 40 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This includes four additional urban areas who will receive funding to build and sustain capability based on an evolving threat environment. This represents Congressional intent to limit these funds to those urban areas that represent up to 85% of nationwide risk.
These grants involve an enhanced risk methodology that better reflects the current complex and diverse threat environment. DHS and FEMA have updated this year’s risk methodology after extensive stakeholder engagement, and we commit to continuing that engagement through the FY 2023 application period to ensure our grant programs are as simple and easy to access as possible. The change in the risk methodology will allow additional jurisdictions to build new capacity to address the complex and diverse threat environment, while allowing previous grant-receiving jurisdictions to maintain current capacity to the extent it meets the new threat environment.
DHS has identified six national priority areas in the FY 2023 grant cycle: cybersecurity; soft targets and crowded places; intelligence and information sharing; domestic violent extremism; community preparedness and resilience; and election security. Grant recipients under the State Homeland Security Program and Urban Area Security Initiative will be required to dedicate a minimum of 30% of their awards across these six priority areas. Fifteen percent is required through minimum spend amounts for five priority areas, and recipients have flexibility on how to allocate the remaining 15% across the six priority areas: cybersecurity (no minimum spend); soft target and crowded places (3%); information and intelligence sharing (3%); domestic violent extremism (3%); community preparedness and resilience (3%); and election security (3%). After extensive consultation with grantees leading up to this announcement, DHS is focused on balancing the need to invest in high priority areas with giving jurisdictions the flexibility to make prioritization decisions based on their own assessments of their needs.
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.
Preparedness Grant Program Allocations for Fiscal Year 2023
The following grants are non-competitive and awarded to recipients based on several factors: Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP): 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 DHS/FEMA’s risk methodology.
HSGP: Urban Area Security Initiative: provides $615 million to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 36 high-threat, high-density areas. Awards are based on relative risk as determined by DHS/FEMA’s risk methodology.
- For both the state homeland and urban area grants, 30% of the awards must address the six priority areas of cybersecurity; soft target and crowded places; information and intelligence sharing; domestic violent extremism; community preparedness and resilience; and election security. Additionally, 35% 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 calendar days of receipt.
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.
Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program: provides $355.1 million to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management agencies in obtaining the resources required to support the National Preparedness Goal’s associated mission areas and core capabilities to build a culture of preparedness.
The following grants are competitive, and exact awards will be announced later this year:
HSGP: 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.
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.
Nonprofit Security Grant Program: provides $305 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. This year, $152.5 million is provided to nonprofits in UASI-designated urban areas, and $152.5 million is provided to nonprofits outside of UASI-designated urban areas located in any state or territory.
Port Security Grant Program: provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.
Transit Security Grant Program: provides $93 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.
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.
Before determining modifications and final allocations to the grant programs, DHS coordinated extensive engagements with local and state partners, and worked with a wide range of stakeholders. All the funding notices can be found at www.grants.gov.
FEMA has engaged in a concerted effort to expand and enhance outreach related to the NSGP to reach potential new applicants, especially in underserved communities. Funding allocations for the NSGP announcement and for technical assistance in developing grant applications can be found at Nonprofit Security Grant Program | FEMA.gov. Final submissions must be made through the non-disaster grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov.
Further information on DHS’s preparedness grant programs is available at www.dhs.gov and http://www.fema.gov/grants.