State Awards Mitigation Grants to Get Matthew Survivors Into More Resilient Homes
NC Emergency Management announced Friday that 64 homeowners across central and eastern North Carolina soon will receive $8.5 million in federal and state funds to acquire, elevate or reconstruct homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew.
“This is more good news for families who have been waiting for help so they can rebuild their homes and lives,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “We know communities have been eagerly awaiting this funding, and we’re working to get it to them as quickly as possible.”
This is the fourth award of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds and will help dozens more homeowners move into more resilient homes. This round of funding will be used to reconstruct five homes, elevate 17 homes and acquire 42 properties so the homeowners can find alternative housing outside of the floodplain.
The HMGP award includes:
- Columbus County – $670,079 to elevate 5 homes
- Greene County – $1,796,384 to elevate 5 homes and acquire 7 properties
- Jones County – $610,770 to acquire 5 properties
- Moore County – $660,533 to acquire 6 properties
- Pender County – $532,384 to reconstruct 4 homes
- Pitt County – $1,044,262 to acquire 11 properties
- City of Wilson – $790,593 to acquire 4 properties
- Pasquotank County – to elevate 1 home and acquire 5 properties
- Cumberland County – $266,761 to acquire 2 properties
- Dare County – $110,744 to elevate 1 home
- City of Edenton – $220,902 to acquire 1 property
- Johnston County – $136,216 to reconstruct 1 home
- Duplin County – $647,651 to elevate 5 homes
- City of Washington – $106,977 to acquire 1 property
It follows awards of $13.4 million to assist 87 homeowners in Camden, Columbus, Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash and Robeson counties and the cities of Fayetteville and Tarboro announced earlier this spring. The complete list of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program awards for Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina now totals 150 properties and $21.6 million.
The federal program uses a combination of federal and state funds to elevate, reconstruct or buy-out qualified homeowners whose home is at risk of repeated damage from flooding. Following major disasters, a percentage of total federal recovery funds is designated to develop more resilient communities using one of the approved methods. North Carolina is an Enhanced Mitigation state based on its thorough plan and program management history, which brings more federal funding for mitigation projects. That enhanced status, which FEMA renewed in May, translated into an additional $25 million to help 210 more homeowners following Hurricane Matthew.
State emergency management officials anticipate approximately $115 million total in HMGP grants will be awarded to help Matthew survivors get into more flood-resistant homes. They hope to have all of the mitigation grants awarded by early August.
This program has proven its value repeatedly, helping protect homeowners from additional disasters. More than 4,000 North Carolina homeowners and properties have benefited from mitigation measures during the past 20 years.
NC Emergency Management staff evaluated more than 3,000 applications from homeowners for HMGP funding in the months after Matthew, 10 times the typical number as compared to similar disasters. As a comparison, it took staff 18 months to evaluate 300 applications after Hurricane Irene in 2011.
NCEM staff then submitted applications to FEMA to either acquire, elevate or reconstruct nearly 800 different properties damaged by Hurricane Matthew. NCEM supported local governments by writing each grant application on their behalf.
Now that FEMA has approved the projects, the state can enter into the required project agreements with the receiving counties and city and discuss program requirements. It is then up to each jurisdiction to select contractors and begin the actual elevation or demolition work. The city or county will distribute the grant funds to the homeowner and will then be reimbursed by NCEM.