The Urban Area Security Initiative grant is not an open-application grant. This means that only jurisdictions which have been approved can submit projects. Because of this, cities and agencies who are not already eligible to submit grant projects should contact their county office of emergency management for guidance on submitting future projects. The region will not accept project proposals from individuals or private companies, and will only accept applications from some non-governmental organizations. Jurisdictions will determine if projects meet guidelines and align with their priorities.
Once eligible organizations submit projects, the projects are assigned to one of the eight standing committees for review. Committees score projects based on a variety of criteria, including the amount by which the project reduces the region’s risks and vulnerabilities as well as overall project effectiveness. All projects must directly relate to terrorism. Committees provide their project scores to the UASI Executive Committee, who is then responsible for allocating funding once the Notice of Funding Opportunity is published by the federal government. Committee meetings related to UASI projects are closed meetings.
The federal Homeland Security Grant Programs include other avenues for funding which may have different policies and procedures. The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) has many similarities to the UASI program but is open to the thirteen counties in the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) region and is administered by H-GAC and the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) provides funding for eligible non-profit organizations. The Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) is a nationally competitive grant opportunity specifically for security at the Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel and is administered in our region by the Houston Ship Channel Security District and the US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston’s Captain of the Port.