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The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced yesterday that:private nonprofit houses of worship are now eligible for disaster assistance as community centers, without regard to their secular or religious nature.  These changes are effective for disasters declared on or after August 23, 2017 and for applications for assistance that were pending with FEMA as of August 23, 2017, including applications on first- or second-level appeal, that as of today have not yet been resolved by FEMA.The policy change, also reflected in a new edition of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program Policy Guide, reverses a long-standing policy that is currently being challenged in two separate lawsuits growing our of recent hurricane damage in Texas and Florida. (See prior posting.) Becket issued a press release calling attention to FEMA’s policy change.