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FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments so they can develop hazard mitigation plans and rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses in their communities. When requested by an authorized representative, this grant funding is available after a presidentially declared disaster.
In this program, homeowners and businesses cannot apply for a grant. However, a local community may apply for funding on their behalf.
All state, local, tribal and territorial governments must develop and adopt hazard mitigation plans to receive funding for their hazard mitigation projects
With the growing climate change crisis facing the nation, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will provide funding for states, territories and tribes to maximize their investment in mitigation measures that result in safer and more resilient communities.
On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of Stafford Act.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, 3 federally recognized tribes, and 5 territories have been approved for major disaster declarations to assist with additional needs identified under the nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19. Additionally, 32 tribes are working directly with FEMA under the emergency declaration.
Follow these steps when applying for HMGP grants:
The overarching goal is to propose a project that will reduce or eliminate long-term risk. Project scoping helps develop a preferred project alternative that is documented through the process. During that process, the applicant seeks to determine technical feasibility, cost effectiveness for a given project, and identification of environmental planning and historic preservation (EHP) and other regulatory compliance needs.
To be eligible for funding, all of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program eligibility requirements must meet the minimum project criteria in 44 CFR Section 206.434(c). Address program eligibility requirements at the earliest point in the decision-making process.
During the project development process, the sub-applicant should refine the mitigation activity in areas of technical feasibility, cost-effectiveness and EHP and other regulatory requirements. This refined project proposal must be documented in the application and include basic requirements such as a detailed Scope of Work, Schedule or project implementation timeline, and a Cost Estimate or budget, along with a cost-effectiveness determination. The project application should identify the hazard of concern and clearly demonstrate how the proposed project will reduce risk from such a hazard.
You should identify risks or problems and examine alternative solutions during the mitigation planning process. Consider all program requirements at the beginning stages of project development to make sure that all requirements are met.
The applicant must submit all sub-applications to FEMA within 12 months of the date of the presidential major disaster declaration. Upon written request and justification from the applicant, FEMA may extend the application submission timeline in 30- to 90-day increments, not to exceed 180 days. For more information, see 44 CFR Section 206.436.
States, territories, federally-recognized tribes, local communities and certain private nonprofit organizations all can sponsor an application on behalf of individuals. These sponsors are the official applicants or sub applicants.
Eligible project types are detailed in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance. The included list is not an all-inclusive, but includes an “other” category to allow for innovative project types that clearly demonstrate their risk reduction potential. All projects must:
Final Steps of the Application Process
Applicants solicit sub-applications from eligible sub-applicants and assist with preparing, reviewing and submitting applications to FEMA. If the applicant does not agree with an eligibility determination, they may appeal.
FEMA awards funds to the recipient, which disburses the funds to its sub-recipient – generally a local government entity. Homeowners may start their projects once authorized by their state, tribal, territorial or local government official. Work started prior to FEMA review and approval is ineligible for funding.
Grant recipients have 36 months or three years from the close of the application period to complete their projects. Sound project monitoring improves the efficiency of implementing the project and obligating funds.
The state, tribe or territory must oversee and monitor the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program projects, usually done via site visits, telephone calls, meetings and progress reports. They work with the local community to ensure that grant terms and conditions are met and confirm that the project complies with:
Quarterly progress reports must be submitted to FEMA on funded mitigation activities.
Award closeout is the process by which the recipient and FEMA verify that a sub-award scope of work has been completed as approved and that all reimbursable costs are eligible. It verifies that the recipient and FEMA complied with terms and conditions of the award and completed the project or program objectives.
Closeout requests must be submitted to FEMA within 90 days of the end of the Period of Performance (POP), which is the time when grant activities must be completed, or it may occur earlier if a recipient completes all required work or expends all available federal funding in advance of the scheduled closeout timeline.
Standard Closeout ensures that FEMA has received:
Administrative Closeout is closure of a Federal Prime Grant Award when the recipient is non-compliant, there is clear negligence on the part of the recipient, or the recipient is unwilling to complete the closeout requirements or submit required final reports. The agency decision may result in further consequences via enforcement actions. See 2 CFR Section 200.339(a)(1) and 2 CFR Section 200.343, especially Section 200.343(d) - (g).
The recipient must perform closeout tasks for both the Federal Prime Grant Award and sub-awards. FEMA requirements for closing sub-awards are outlined in the Closeout Toolkit: Checklist for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Closeout Toolkit: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Sub-award Closeout Frequently Asked Questions.
Also, the recipient must conduct final inspections, reconcile sub-recipient expenditures, resolve negative audit findings, obtain final reports from sub-recipients, and reconcile the closeout activities of sub-recipients with all award requirements.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Appeals
An eligible applicant may appeal any FEMA determination regarding applications submitted for funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The appeal process allows applicants to request a reconsideration of the decision against program requirements.
Learn about the two levels of appeals, how FEMA reviews and approves appeals, and search the appeals database, our online collection of FEMA responses to applicant appeals for assistance.
The president can declare a major disaster for any natural event such as a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. When a major disaster is declared, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding may be available to help homeowners rebuild their homes stronger than they were before the disaster. Mitigation activities help a community to build back better, safer, and stronger in order to reduce the risk of future damage from natural hazards.
To be considered for HMGP funding, your home must be located in a state that received a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
Your state and community must have an approved hazard mitigation plan.
For projects located within a Special Flood Hazard Area, the local community must be a member of the National Flood Insurance Program in good standing (not on probation, suspended, or withdrawn).
Your home rebuilding project must be cost-effective, technically feasible, environmentally sound, comply with all relevant regulations, and approved by FEMA.
As an individual, you cannot apply directly for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding. Rather, you will need to work with your local community as they develop an HMGP grant proposal. Discuss the hazards impacting your property and plans to mitigate with your local community leaders, planners, and engineers. If the community has not already made contact, you should meet with them and request that your property be included as part of a hazard mitigation application. The community will develop a scope of work, work schedule and detailed cost estimate for an HMGP grant application, but your interaction will help inform that process.
If your local jurisdiction is eligible for a grant, you can learn more through local sources, like your local jurisdiction’s website, local media outlets, flyers at the local library or public forums (such as town hall hosted by your local officials where they explain the application process and how to work together), or announcements in newspapers, or on the radio, television and online.
Your local government develops and submits Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) project applications to the state based on mitigation strategies identified in their hazard mitigation plan. Completed applications are sent to the respective state office that manages the process for HMGP grants. Based on the FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan and funding priorities, the state, tribe, or territory will forward completed applications to FEMA for funding.
FEMA will review applications for cost-effectiveness, technical feasibility and environmental planning, and historic preservation compliance. When projects have been approved for funding, FEMA will notify the state, tribe or territory, which will notify local governments. Once funding is approved, the local community is responsible for managing the sub-grant to ensure the scope of work, work schedule, and budget are consistent with the approved application.
Funding for Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs are submitted based on the priorities listed in a community’s FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan. Government officials at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels prioritize which project plans they will submit.
HMGP funded projects must not begin until the local community has been notified that the project has been approved. Work done prior to FEMA’s review and approval will not be reimbursed by FEMA, except basic repair work necessary to make your home habitable.
After approval, FEMA will work with the state, which will work with the local community to complete the project. Depending upon the nature and complexity of a given proposal, the local community may oversee the entire project; or they may allow the property owner to implement some of the project.
To meet FEMA’s requirements for reimbursement, you must keep detailed records of payments to contractors. Your local officials will ask you to provide compliance documentation so they can finalize the project and approve reimbursement requests. FEMA will reimburse you only after the approved work has been completed.
The process for inclusion in an HMGP grant application from a local community is the same for business entities as it is for individual homeowners as described above. Additional resources for both homeowners and businesses can be found below.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you elevate your home or business to secure your biggest assets.