7. Regulatory Analyses

Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) and Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review)

The final rule is not a significant regulatory action. FEMA is the only entity we have identified that has recently provided emergency transportable housing units to disaster survivors and will be affected by the final rule. We adhered to the principles of regulation in Executive Orders 13563 and 12866. Among other things, Executive Order 13563 directs agencies to propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs; tailor the regulation to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; and, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 recognizes that some benefits are difficult to quantify and provides that, where appropriate and permitted by law, agencies may consider and discuss qualitatively values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts. We discuss the costs and benefits of the final rule below.

Costs

FEMA maintains a baseline target inventory of emergency transportable housing units ready to deploy in response to major disasters and emergencies based on historical usage, lead time to produce additional units, and installation capacity. The baseline target inventory is reassessed at the beginning of each hurricane season and may be readjusted based on operational needs, lessons learned, and on-going analysis. FEMA’s current baseline target inventory is 2,000 units and 298 of the units (approximately 15 percent of the units) are targeted as UFAS compliant.46 The actual number of emergency transportable housing units in the inventory varies as FEMA deploys the units to disaster areas and contracts for the production of additional units as needed.

UFAS is the accessibility standard adopted by HUD for residential facilities covered by the ABA. The UFAS compliant units comply with the technical requirements in the final rule for units with mobility features, except for bedroom lighting controls and water spray units at kitchen sinks. FEMA estimated, based on input from companies that produce emergency transportable housing units, that bedroom lighting controls will add $60 and water spray units at kitchen sinks will add $75 to the cost of UFAS compliant units. All the emergency transportable housing units provided by FEMA contain the communication features required by the final rule, including combination smoke alarms and visible notification appliances complying with NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code and weather alert systems with audible and visible output. FEMA will not incur additional costs to comply with the technical requirements in the final rule for units with communication features.

We assumed that FEMA will provide bedroom lighting controls and water spray units at kitchen sinks in new UFAS compliant units purchased after the final rule is issued, and will not wait until HUD updates its accessibility standards for residential facilities covered by the ABA to be consistent with the final rule. We estimated the additional costs for FEMA to provide UFAS compliant units with bedroom lighting controls and water spray units at kitchen sinks under three scenarios. The scenarios do not represent actual costs that FEMA will incur each year since the number of UFAS compliant units deployed by FEMA varies from year to year. The scenarios are:

1. Average Number of UFAS Compliant Units Deployed per Year by FEMA.

FEMA deployed an average of 165 UFAS compliant units per year in response to major disasters and emergencies declared by the President during the period from calendar year 2008 to 2013.47 Under the first scenario, we estimated the additional costs if FEMA deploys an average 165 UFAS compliant units per year and replaces the inventory with the same number of UFAS compliant units.

2. Baseline Target Inventory of UFAS Compliant Units Maintained by FEMA.

Under the second scenario, we estimated the additional costs if FEMA deploys the 298 UFAS compliant units in its baseline target inventory and replaces them with the same number of UFAS compliant units. These costs may be incurred over more than one year if all the UFAS compliant units in the inventory are not deployed in a single year.

3. UFAS Compliant Units Deployed in Event of Catastrophic Disasters Equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

FEMA provided approximately 145,000 emergency transportable housing units to the survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.48 Under the third scenario, we estimated the additional costs if FEMA deploys the same number of units in the event of catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and 10, 15, or 20 percent of the units are UFAS compliant. These costs may be incurred over more than one year depending on whether the disasters occur in the early part or late part of the year and the time needed to produce large numbers of units.

The additional costs for FEMA to provide UFAS compliant units with bedroom lighting controls and water spray units at kitchen sinks under the three scenarios are shown in Table 1. The additional costs under the first scenario (average number of UFAS compliant units deployed per year) are $22,275. The additional costs under the second scenario (replace baseline target inventory of UFAS compliant units) are $40,230. The additional costs under the third scenario (percentage of UFAS compliant units deployed in the event of catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) range from $2 million to $4 million depending on whether 10, 15, or 20 percent of the units are UFAS compliant.

Table 1 – Additional Costs to Provide Bedroom Lighting Controls and 
Water Spray Units at Kitchen Sinks in UFAS Compliant Units

 Scenario

Lighting controls ($60) Water spray units ($75) Total costs
1. Average number of UFAS compliant units deployed per year (165 units)  $9,900 $12,375 $22,275
2. Replace baseline target inventory of UFAS compliant units (298 units)  $17,880 $22,350 $40,230
3. Percentage of UFAS compliant units deployed in catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:      
10 % or 14,500 units $870,000 $1,087,500 $1,957,500
15 % or 21,750 units  $1,305,000 $1,631,250 $2,936,250
20 % or 29,000 units  $1,740,000 $2,175,000 $3,915,000

The final rule does not allow use of the operable parts exception for electrical outlets in kitchens in emergency transportable housing units with mobility features since they typically have fewer electrical outlets than kitchens in other types of residential dwelling units. Where two or more electrical outlets are provided above a length of countertop that is uninterrupted by a sink or appliance, the exception does not require one of the outlets to comply with the technical requirements for operable parts, including clear floor space, reach ranges, and operation. Kitchen designs vary in emergency transportable housing units. Depending on the kitchen designs, electrical outlets may need to be installed in the face of the base cabinets to comply with the technical requirements for operable parts. FEMA estimated, based on input from companies that produce emergency transportable housing units, that installing electrical outlets in the face of the base cabinets will add from $150 to $500 to the cost of UFAS compliant units. The higher estimate assumes custom cabinetry is needed.

We do not have information on the various kitchen designs used by companies that produce emergency transportable housing units. We estimated the additional costs for not allowing the operable parts exception to be used for electrical outlets in kitchens in emergency transportable housing units with mobility features based on assumptions that 25, 50, and 100 percent of the units provide two or more electrical outlets above a length of countertop that is uninterrupted by a sink or appliance and need to install electrical outlets in the face of the base cabinets to comply with the technical requirements for operable parts. The additional costs for not allowing use of the operable parts exception under the three scenarios described earlier are shown in Table 2 as a range of low and high estimates. The low estimates assume that installing electrical outlets in the face of the base cabinets will add $150 to the cost of UFAS compliant units. The high estimates assume that installing electrical outlets in the face of the base cabinets will add $500 to the cost of UFAS compliant units. The additional costs under the first scenario (average number of UFAS compliant units deployed per year) range from $6,150 to $82,500. The additional costs under the second scenario (replace baseline target inventory of UFAS compliant units) range from $11,250 to $149,000. The additional costs under the third scenario (percentage of UFAS compliant units deployed in the event of catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) range from $543,750 to $14.5 million depending on whether 10, 15, or 20 percent of the units are UFAS compliant.

Table 2 – Additional Costs for Not Allowing Use of Operable Parts 
Exception for Electrical Outlets in Units with Mobility Features

 

Scenario

Percent of UFAS compliant units that need to install electrical outlets in the face of base cabinets to comply with the technical requirements for operable parts
25 percent 50 percent 100 percent
1. Average number of UFAS compliant units deployed per year (165 units)  Low $6,150
High $20,500
Low $12,450
High $41,500
Low $24,750
High $82,500
2. Replace baseline target inventory of UFAS compliant units (298 units)  Low $11,250
High $37,500
Low $22,350
High $74,500
Low $44,700
High $149,000
3. Percentage of UFAS compliant units deployed in catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:      
10 % or 14,500 units  Low $543,750
High $1,812,500
Low $1,087,500
High $3,625,000
Low $2,175,000
High $7,250,000
15 % or 21,750 units  Low $815,700
High $2,719,000
 Low $1,631,250
High $5,437,500
Low $3,262,500
High $10,875,000
20 % or 29,000 units  Low $1,087,500
High $3,625,000
Low $2,175,000
High $7,250,000
Low $4,350,000
High $14,500,000

The total additional costs to provide bedroom lighting controls and water spray units at kitchen sinks in UFAS compliant units and for not allowing use of the operable parts exception for electrical outlets in kitchens in emergency transportable housing units with mobility features are shown in Table 3 as a range of low and high estimates. The low estimates assume that 25 percent of the units provide two or more electrical outlets above a length of countertop that is uninterrupted by a sink or appliance and need electrical outlets installed in the face of the base cabinets to comply with the technical requirements for operable parts at the additional cost of $150 per unit. The high estimates assume that 100 percent of the units provide two or more electrical outlets above a length of countertop that is uninterrupted by a sink or appliance and need electrical outlets installed in the face of the base cabinets to comply with the technical requirements for operable parts at the additional cost of $500 per unit. The total additional costs under the first scenario (average number of UFAS compliant units deployed per year) range from $28,425 to $104,775. The total additional costs under the second scenario (replace baseline target inventory of UFAS compliant units) range from $51,480 to $189,230. The total additional costs under the third scenario (percentage of UFAS compliant units deployed in the event of catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) range from $2.5 million to $18.4 million depending on whether 10, 15, or 20 percent of the units are UFAS compliant. 

Table 3 – Total Additional Costs 

Scenario

Low Estimate High Estimate
1. Average number of UFAS compliant units deployed per year (165 units)  $28,425 $104,725
2. Replace baseline target inventory of UFAS compliant units (298 units)  $51,480 $189,230
3. Percentage of UFAS compliant units deployed in catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:    
10 % or 14,500 units $2,501,250 $$9,207,500
15 % or 21,750 units  $3,751,950 $13,811,250
20 % or 29,000 units  $5,002,500 $18,415,000


Benefits 

The scoping and technical requirements for emergency transportable housing units with mobility features will directly benefit disaster survivors with mobility disabilities who need temporary housing. The number of disaster survivors with mobility disabilities who need temporary housing will vary from disaster to disaster. During the five year period from 2008 to 2012, FEMA provided a total of 9,324 emergency transportable housing units to disaster survivors and 991of the units or 10.6 percent were UFAS compliant.49 The number of UFAS compliant units provided in response to specific disasters ranged from zero to 345 units. In the event of catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the number of UFAS compliant units would be greater. FEMA provided approximately 145,000 emergency transportable housing units to the survivors Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. If FEMA were to provide the same number of emergency transportable housing units in the event of catastrophic disasters equivalent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and 10 to 20 percent of the units were UFAS compliant, there would be 14,500 to 29,000 UFAS compliant units for disaster survivors with mobility disabilities. The benefits of the final rule are incremental for disaster survivors with mobility disabilities since the UFAS compliant units comply with the technical requirements in the final rule for units with mobility features, except for bedroom lighting controls and water spray units at kitchen sinks. By requiring a means to control at least one source of lighting in bedrooms from the bed, individuals with mobility disabilities will be able to safely transfer in and out of bed. By requiring water spray units at kitchen sinks, individuals with mobility disabilities will be able to wash dishes without having to reach across the sink to control the water flow. The final rule also does not allow the use of the operable parts exception for electrical outlets in kitchens in emergency transportable housing units with mobility features since they typically have fewer outlets than kitchens in other types of residential dwelling units. These benefits are difficult to quantify, but include important national values recognized in Executive Order 13563 such as equity, human dignity, and fairness.

All the emergency transportable housing units provided by FEMA contain the communication features required by the final rule, including combination smoke alarms and visible notification appliances complying with NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code and weather alert systems with audible and visible output so the final rule has no incremental benefits for disaster survivors who are deaf or have a hearing loss. We do not have data on the number of emergency transportable housing units provided by FEMA to disaster survivors who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires federal agencies to analyze the impacts of proposed and final rules on small entities, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.50 For the proposed rule, we certified that the rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because we did not identify any entities other than FEMA that provides emergency transportable housing units to disaster survivors. We requested comment in the proposed rule on whether any small entities provide emergency transportable housing units to disaster survivors.51 We did not receive any comments indicating that small entities provide emergency transportable housing units to disaster survivors. Accordingly, we certify that the final rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

The final rule adheres to the fundamental federalism principles and policy making criteria in Executive Order 13132. The final rule is issued pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).52 The ADA is civil rights legislation that was enacted by Congress pursuant to its authority to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to regulate commerce. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA requires facilities constructed or altered by state and local governments, and public accommodations and commercial facilities constructed or altered by private entities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The ADA recognizes the authority of state and local governments to enact and enforce laws that provide for greater or equal protection for the rights of individuals with disabilities.53 The ABA requires facilities constructed or altered with federal funds and facilities leased by federal agencies to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act does not apply to proposed or final rules that enforce constitutional rights of individuals or enforce statutory rights that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or disability. Since the final rule is issued pursuant to the ADA, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, an assessment of the rule’s effect on state, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector is not required.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 1191

Buildings and facilities, Civil rights, Incorporation by reference, Individuals with disabilities, Transportation.

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Michael K. Yudin, 
Chair.