FEMA's Community Disaster Loan Program: History, Analysis, and Issues for Congress [May 10, 2012] [open pdf - 464KB]
"The core purpose of the Community Disaster Loan (CDL) program is to provide financial assistance to local governments that are having difficulty providing government services because of a loss in tax or other revenue following a disaster. The program assists local governments by offering federal loans to compensate for this temporary or permanent loss in local revenue. The CDL program is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). First authorized in the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-288), the Community Disaster Loan program is currently codified in Section 417 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. §5184, as amended). […] This report compares and analyzes three different categories of loans issued in different time periods in the program's history: 'traditional' loans issued between 1974-2005, in 2007, and between 2009-2011 (TCDLs); 'special' (SCDLs) loans issued in 2005-2006 following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and loans issued under unique provisions in 2008 (2008 CDLs). As authorized by Congress and administered by FEMA, the SCDL and 2008 loan categories had different provisions than traditional loans to guide the eligibility of local governments and dollar size of the loans. SCDLs also had unique provisions that slightly altered the purpose of the loans, lowered the interest rate charged on the loans, and clarified the cancellation procedures for the loans."
CRS Report for Congress, R42527