The Small Business Association’s Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) is the agency element that responds to disasters and administers the Disaster Assistance Program by providing low interest loans and working capital to homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations that have been devastated by disaster. Based on concerns with SBA’s response in wake of the 2005 Gulf Coast storms, Congress asked the Academy to conduct a management review of SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program that focused on the Program’s experiences over the last decade and on the agency’s efforts and actions following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes.
The Panel found that the Disaster Assistance Program has shown that it can provide loans to affected homeowners and businesses on a timely and effective basis in ‘normal’ disasters.
The recommendations outlined in this report apply to two broad aspects of the Disaster Assistance Program:
(1) Improving current business processes
(2) Changing the fundamental structure of the type of loans offered