City of Houston applies for FEMA grant to help elevate homes in flood-prone areas

By Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The city of Houston is applying for part of a $90 million Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to help more homeowners in flood-prone areas elevate their houses.

"It provides 75-100 percent of the eligible costs," said Jamila Johnson with the Houston Permitting Center.

There is no guarantee that a homeowner will receive the grant, but the city is asking residents who have had multiple severe property losses or two or more flood insurance claims to apply for the elevation grant.

The deadline for homeowners to submit their information to the City of Houston is 5 p.m. on Aug. 25.

You can learn more at www.HoustonRecovers.org, or attend the 2017 Flood Mitigation Assistance Home Elevation Grant Informational Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center at 1475 W. Gray St.

Here are some frequently asked questions:

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Homeowners who have flood insurance from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The flood insurance must be effective at the time of the grant application and be maintained throughout the process. To learn more about other requirements visit: www.HoustonRecovers.org

HOW CAN THIS GRANT HELP ME AVOID FLOOD DAMAGE IN THE FUTURE?

If awarded, the FMA grant will pay between 75-100 percent of the eligible costs to elevate a home. The existing house will receive a new foundation and will be lifted so that the lowest floor is at least one foot above the base flood elevation.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF RECEIVING A GRANT AWARD?

FMA is a nationally competitive grant program. Homeowners who have the strongest chance of award are those who own a property with a history of receiving large FEMA NFIP flood insurance claim payments over time. For this reason, the City's application will focus on FEMA designated high priority Severe Repetitive Loss properties. High priority Severe Repetitive Loss properties are homes which the total of two or more flood insurance claim payments for building damage (not including contents) exceeds the FEMA calculated value of the home (not including land).

To have a chance of award, FEMA must save more by avoiding future flood claim payments than it would cost to elevate a home. There is no guarantee of award.

HOW DO I APPLY?

  1. Visit www.HoustonRecovers.org for a 2017 FMA Grant Checklist & Voluntary Interest Form
  2. Complete the form, gather required documents and submit online, in person at the Floodplain Management Office (Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington Ave., 3rd Floor), or at the informational meeting on Aug. 15. Homeowners must submit their information to the Floodplain Management Office by Friday, Aug. 25 at 5 p.m.

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