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State Awards Mitigation Grants to Get Matthew Survivors into More Resilient Homes

Raleigh – NC Emergency Management today announced that 11 homeowners across central and eastern North Carolina will soon receive $1.8 million in federal and state funds to acquire or reconstruct homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

In the past two months, NCEM has announced awards of $48.9 million in hazard mitigation grants to help 355 homeowners in impacted counties.

“This funding assistance is welcome news for families who need help rebuilding their homes and getting their lives back to normal,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “We are very pleased to see this funding become available and we’re doing all we can to get it to people in need.”

This seventh award of FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds will be used to reconstruct one home and acquire 10 properties so the homeowners can find housing outside the floodplain.

Today’s FEMA HMGP awards are:
*Johnston County – $1,505,527 to acquire 8 properties.
*Town of Boardman – $132,946 to reconstruct 1 home.
*City of Greenville – $222,926 to acquire 2 properties.

In the past two months, NCEM has announced awards of $48.9 million in hazard mitigation grants to help 355 homeowners in impacted counties.

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 demolition work. The city or county will distribute the grant funds to the homeowner and will then be reimbursed by NCEM.
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.

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 earned the status of an Enhanced Hazard Mitigation state based on its thorough plan and program history, meaning a larger portion of the program is paid for by federal funds That enhanced status, which FEMA renewed in May, translated into an additional $25 million to help 210 more homeowners following Hurricane Matthew.

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.

In the months after Hurricane Matthew, NC Emergency Management staff evaluated more than 3,000 applications from homeowners for HMGP funding, 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.