Hazard mitigation funds now available to assist homeowners

Fairfield-hazardfunds

First Selectman Michael Tetreau, left, and Town Planning & Zoning Assistant Director Jim Wendt helped residents with Flood Hazard Mitigation Grant Program applications.

The Connecticut Interagency Hazard Mitigation Committee has revised its previous decision on the allocation of federal hazard mitigation funds based on the immediate needs of homeowners attempting to re-occupy their homes following Storm Sandy and find alternative funding sources for the mitigation efforts.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau had urged the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to place a priority on residential elevation projects and Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a directive to the committee to reassess the sources of allocation of federal funding.

Following pressure from elected officials, the committee revised its initial decision of funding infrastructure projects rather than allocating funding to homeowners and will now divide the funding into the following areas:

• Elevation projects will be submitted to FEMA for consideration, with a $100,000 cap on the federal cost share per home;

• Infrastructure projects will be submitted in priority order to FEMA for consideration with an initial total cap of $4 million federal cost share; and

• Acquisition projects will be submitted in priority order to FEMA for consideration with an initial total cap of $4.5 million federal cost share.

“I am very grateful that the committee has revised its decision and recognizes how important it is for residents to benefit from this important funding,” Tetreau said. “My administration continues to look out for our residents who are still struggling in the aftermath of Storm Sandy. We remind our Fairfield neighbors that we are here as a source of information, guidance and support.”

According to a press release sent by the governor’s office, “Upon the state’s receipt of the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant, in connection with the two most recent presidential major disasters declared in Connecticut, the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) was charged with implementing the latest round of the federal program and making funds available to municipalities.

“In accordance with FEMA requirements, DESPP convened the Connecticut Interagency Hazard Mitigation Committee to review and prioritize the four categories of mitigation project applications, totaling over $81 million, for the $16.6 million in available funding.”

The release further stated that “municipalities and homeowners, including those that have submitted applications to FEMA for HMGP, are encouraged to continue to review alternate funding sources, including the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery grant program (CDBG-DR). In addition, beginning this summer, Gov. Malloy’s Shoreline Resiliency Fund will provide low interest loans to homeowners looking to elevate their homes.”

Residents who have questions or need information about alternative funding sources are encouraged to contact U.S. Rep. Jim Himes’ aide, Amy Lappos at 203-333-6600 or [email protected] Lappos can help direct people to alternative funding, but has no control over the HMGP funds.

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