Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act
This bill authorizes the Small Business Administration (SBA) to declare a disaster in rural areas where significant damage has been incurred for the purpose of providing certain assistance.
A rural area is a geographic area with a population of less than 200,000 outside an urbanized area. Significant damage means uninsured losses of not less than 40% of the fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value of the damaged property (whichever is less).
For a rural area where the President has declared a major disaster, the SBA may declare a disaster for the purpose of providing economic injury disaster loans if (1) the state wherein the rural area is located requests the declaration; and (2) any home, small business, private nonprofit organization, or small agricultural cooperative has incurred significant damage.
The Government Accountability Office must report on (1) any unique challenges to communities in rural areas compared to communities in urbanized areas when seeking economic injury disaster assistance, and (2) any legislative recommendations for improving access to disaster assistance for communities in rural areas.