On Monday 1/7/12, Township representatives attended a briefing session conducted by FEMA concerning the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program. The information shown below pertaining to this program is directly from the FEMA website. The Township will be submitting a Letter of Intent to Ocean County by 3/22/2013, (extended from the previous deadline of 2/8/2013) as required by FEMA advising the County, State Office of Emergency Management, and FEMA, of the Township's intention to participate in the program. If homeowners wish to participate in the program, they are advised to complete the form on the township web page and include ALL of the required information by 3/15/2013 (extended from the previous deadline of 2/5/2013) . Once complete and accepted, the form will be automatically sent to the appropriate program managers and homeowners will receive a confirmatory email with contact information in it. Prior to completing the form, homeowners need to be aware of the following:
This is a "competitive" program and funds for the entire program will be limited to a statewide maximum amount which has not yet been determined. No criteria has been established thus far to determine funding priorities either. There is no individual maximum amount you can apply for; however,the reality is that funding will be limited for the program and it is likely that a large percentage of residents will not be able to receive funding once the funds run out statewide. In spite of that fact, we are urging all interested homeowners to apply.
For homeowners considering raising their homes, FEMA has advised that, in order to qualify, you would have to raise your home to the base flood elevation (BFE) shown in the FEMA "Advisory" Base Flood Elevation maps issued in December of 2012, regardless of whether those elevations ultimately change or not if the maps are revised.
Under the current FEMA guidelines, funds are NOT available for demolition/rebuilding of homes.
Under the current FEMA guidelines, property owners are NOT eligible for reimbursement for work already performed. Approval must be granted in advance of any construction.
Under the program guidelines, grants are limited to 75% and homeowners will be responsible for a 25% match. You are eligible to apply for funding even if you received assistance under the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program and funds received under the ICC program CAN be used as part of the required match.
Assistance under this program is NOT limited to your primary residence.
FEMA has not set a definitive time frame for the program. All that is known thus far is that the Township must submit a Letter of Intent by February 8,2013, to the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management and that information will, in turn, be submitted to the State Office of Emergency Management for formal submittal to FEMA. Based on what we have been told, it is likely that it will be 6 months before funds are available. The Township will update the schedule as it becomes known to us.
What is the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. Authorized under Section 404 of the Stafford Act and administered by FEMA, HMGP was created to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters. The program enables mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
What Types of Projects Can be Funded By The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long term solution to a problem, for example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages as opposed to sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project's potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger or, re-damage. Examples of projects include, but are not limited to: Acquisition of real property for willing sellers and demolition or relocation of buildings to convert the property to open space use, Retrofitting structures and facilities to minimize damages from high winds, earthquakes, wildfire, or other natural hazards, Elevation of flood prone structures, Development and initial implementation of vegetative management programs, Minor flood control projects that do not duplicate the flood prevention activities of other federal agencies, Localized flood control projects such as certain ring levees and floodwall systems that are designed specifically to protect critical facilities, and Post-disaster building code related activities that support building code officials during the reconstruction process.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding is only available to applicants that reside within a Presidentially declared disaster area. Eligible applicants include: State and local governments Indian tribes or other tribal organizations Certain non-profit organizations Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however a community may apply on their behalf. How can I get more information about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program? For more information on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer or the FEMA Regional Office in your area.
How much money is available in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
The amount of funding available for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) under a particular disaster declaration is limited. The program may provide a state with up to 15 percent of the total disaster grants awarded by FEMA. States that meet higher mitigation planning criteria may qualify for a higher percentage under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of each project. The state or grantee must provide a 25 percent match, which can be fashioned from a combination of cash and in-kind sources. Funding from other federal sources cannot be used for the 25 percent share with one exception. Funding provided to states under the Community Development Block Grant program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development can be used to meet the non-federal share requirement.
What are the Minimum Project Criteria?
There are five issues you must consider when determining the eligibility of a proposed project.
- Does your project conform to your State's Hazard Mitigation Plan?
- Does your project provide a beneficial impact on the disaster area, i.e. the State?
- Does your application meet the environmental requirements?
- Does your project solve a problem independently?
- Is your project cost-effective?
How are potential projects selected and identified?
The state's administrative plan governs how projects are selected for funding. However, proposed projects must meet certain minimum criteria. These criteria are designed to ensure that the most cost-effective and appropriate projects are selected for funding. Both the law and the regulations require that the projects are part of an overall mitigation strategy for the disaster area. The state prioritizes and selects project applications developed and submitted by local jurisdictions. The state forwards applications consistent with state mitigation planning objectives to FEMA for eligibility review. Funding for this grant program is limited and states and local communities must make difficult decisions as to the most effective use of grant funds.
How long will it take to get my project approved?
It is important for applicants to understand the approval process. Once eligible projects are selected by the state, they are forwarded to the FEMA Regional Office where they are reviewed to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations. One such law is the National Environmental Policy Act, passed by Congress in 1970, which requires FEMA to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of each proposed project. The time required for the environmental review depends on the complexity of the project.
Why didn't I receive Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds when some of my neighbors did?
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is administered by the state, which prioritizes and selects project applications developed and submitted by local jurisdictions. The state forwards applications consistent with state mitigation planning objectives to FEMA for eligibility review. Although individuals may not apply directly to the state for assistance, local governments may sponsor an application on their behalf. Funding for the grant program is limited and states and local communities must make difficult decisions as to the most effective use of available grant funds.