Deadline To Apply For FEMA Hazard Mitgation Funds Is Next Tuesday
Residents who want to be considered can file online, or by filling out a form in Town Hall, according to township website
Residents who want to take advantage of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation program to elevate their homes have a very short window to file.
Applications can be picked up at Town Hall or submitted by filling out the form available on the township website by Feb. 5, Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said. Click here to take you to the form.
Hazard Mitigation program funds are limited. Municipalities throughout the state will compete against each other for the federal funding used for elevation, demolition or acquisition, a FEMA official said at a recent informational seminar held at the Berkeley Township Elementary School.
The program is separate from the National Flood Insurance Program's Increased Cost of Compensation (ICC) program, which pays up to $30,000 to elevate homes that have been deemed more than 50 percent damaged from Superstorm Sandy.
Only municipalities can apply to be considered for the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Residents must inform the township if they want to be considered for the funding, since the township will apply on their behalf.
The township's letter of intent is sent to the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, which in turns sends it on to the state Office of Emergency Management. The state OEM makes the final determination about which communities will receive the federal funds, then sends the recommendations on to FEMA, she said.
The Township will submit a letter of intent to Ocean County by Feb. 8, as required by FEMA, advising the county, state Office of Emergency Management, and FEMA, of Berkeley's intention to participate in the program. Once completed and accepted, the form will be automatically sent to the appropriate program managers and homeowners will receive a confirmatory e-mail with contact information in it.
Homeowners can fill out a form at Town Hall, submit the application online or print the form, scan it and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the township website
• 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. There is no maximum individual amount to apply for. The reality is that funding will be limited and it is likely that a large percentage of residents will not be able to receive funding once the funds run out. But FEMA urges 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, regardless of whether those elevations ultimately change or not if the maps are revised.
• Under the current FEMA guidelines, funds are NOT available for 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 percent and homeowners will be responsible for a 25 percent 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, but it's likely it will be six months before funds are available. Berkeley Township will update the schedule when it is available.