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   HMGP Resource Site for Participants of the City of New Orleans Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
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The City of New Orleans Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is administered by the City of New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Funding for the program has been provided by the State of Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) largely through a grant provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Mitigation Program Management Services are provided by Smart, Inc.


 
 
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This area supplies the answers to common questions that homeowners have about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

1. Are residents still eligible if they have begun/completed the reconstruction or elevation process before their grant was obligated?

See the FEMA Public Notice Regarding a Limited Exception for Retroactive Approvals under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for Louisiana DR-1603 and DR-1607. Click here for the notice

2. Can the mitigation activity for a property be changed from elevation to reconstruction, and vice versa?

Yes. Before any construction is begun on your property, and the condition of the property supports the activity, the mitigation measures can be changed to meet the needs of the property. Changes to the mitigation activity are subject to FEMA approval.

3. Are residents still eligible for the program if they have received hazard mitigation funding from the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) Program?

Yes. Unlike the Road Home Hazard Mitigation Program, enrollment in the ICC program will not render you ineligible for FEMA HMGP funding. Any ICC funding, however, will be treated in the same manner as insurance claims, and therefore deducted from the total FEMA HMGP funds available. This means that a maximum of $30,000 (ICC maximum amount) can be deducted from your FEMA Hazard Mitigation funding.

4. What funding will be available to support my family while we are displaced for mitigation?

Relocation expenses are a discretionary amount of additional compensation the applicant (City of New Orleans in this case) requests be added to provide homeowners some living expense relief for the duration that their house in not inhabitable due to the mitigation activity. For example, if a home is being elevated, the utilities are disconnected and large pieces of furniture are often removed and stored during the jacking action. No one can stay in the home while it is disconnected and sitting on jacks waiting for the new foundation to be built under it. In fact, once the disconnections start, the certificate of occupancy (CO) is probably invalid and the structure cannot be inhabited again until a new CO is received. Refer to the Voluntary Agreement with the City of New Orleans (Homeowner Contract) for the duration of relocation allowance and additional guidance.

5. Can I rebuild my home larger/smaller than it was before the hurricanes?

Homes may certainly be rebuilt at a smaller scale than the original structure,- however, the square footage of the rebuilt home can only be up to 10% larger than the original structure.

6. After a home is reconstructed under HMGP, does the owner have to live in it a certain number of years before they can sell it?

No. HMGP has no requirement to stay in the home. Our requirement is that the property be insured under NFIP as long as it is in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (100-year Floodplain) and that the property deed be noted to indicate that all future owners must retain NFIP flood insurance. The amount of coverage required is the maximum available under the program OR the value of the structure-whichever is less.

7. What are the consequences if I have spent portions of my flood insurance claim to support myself/my family during displacement?

All federal funds, including NFIP flood insurance are combined toward the total amount that FEMA will provide. Flood insurance proceeds are intended to be used for the elevation or reconstruction project. The homeowner may contribute cash or may show receipts for eligible work completed. If the insurance money was spent on living expenses, then that is not an eligible use of the money. Insurance proceeds were intended to be invested into the structure. To maintain eligibility for HMGP funds, the homeowner will have to document how they used their flood insurance proceeds.

8. Will insurance proceeds from the homeowner be used to cover reconstruction costs that are less than the $200,000 cap ($150,000 federal, $50,000 state match)?

The homeowner may use any available funding for the cost over $200,000 for a pilot reconstruction. Insurance proceeds should be deducted from the total eligible project cost (on a property basis). It would not matter if the cost for the reconstruction was more than or less than $200,000. Ensuring that benefits are not duplicated (DOB) is a responsibility of GOHSEP under the FEMA-State Agreement, and those deductions may already have been considered when the budgets were prepared. If a homeowner received an insurance claim payment for the structure and did not use the funds for their intended purpose, that amount is deducted from the total eligible project cost. What happens often during a project is that the budget is adjusted post-award to account for Duplication of Benefits.

DOB example: Total eligible costs for a pilot reconstruction are $230,000, based on using Unit Cost guides. The homeowner received $40,000 to repair the structure and did NOT make repairs-leaving those funds still available for their intended purpose, that amount ($40,000) is deducted from the total eligible cost ($230,000), leaving $190,000 as the new total eligible cost, of which a maximum 75% could be covered by the federal grant award. If the same homeowner used some or all of the $40k to make repairs so that the structure is livable until the reconstruction is completed, the total eligible cost remains at $230,000. If the TEC is initially less than $200k, the TEC after reduction for DOB may reduce the amount of non-federal match is required-based on how the match across the entire project is structured.

ICC claim payments are not considered DOB, however the amount received can be counted as the non-federal match. Using the example on top where the homeowner receives an additional $30,000 to elevate the structure (in addition to the $40k for standard claim payment), $30,000 of the non-federal cost share of $47,500 would be covered by the ICC payment, leaving only a $17,500 nonfederal cost share that the state would cover.

Insurance payments are not meant to be received in addition to an HMGP grant (other mitigation grants view Duplication of Benefit the same way). The grant is intended to cover the cost of the mitigation activity after the insurance proceeds are considered. If a homeowner has receipts to show that they did use the insurance proceeds for their intended purpose, then the total project eligible cost IS NOT reduced.

9. When securing bids from potential contractors for the mitigation activity, are sealed bids required?

No. Sealed bids are not required.

10. I am in the Pilot Reconstruction Program and I am considering selling my home. Would the HMGP grant transfer to the new owner?

No. The HMGP Reconstruction Grant Pilot is only available for Property Owners who owned the property at the time of the event for which funding is authorized. This extends to successors and assigns who gain title to the property as a result of death or incapacity of the Property Owner who owned the property at the time of the relevant disaster event. Property Owners who purchased the property following the relevant disaster declaration are not eligible to receive Pilot funding. Ownership must be demonstrated in the project application as part of the Voluntary Participation Statement (See Section 1.3.2.2.). A verification of ownership will occur prior to project close-out. If it is found at that time that the ownership requirement is not met, FEMA has the authority under 44 C.F.R. Part 13 to recoup grant funds provided to the Grantee. The Grantee is responsible for recouping funds from the Subgrantee.

 

 
 
 
Elevation Side

 

Learn about HMGP Guidelines
General guidelines for both Elevation and Pilot Reconstruction HMGP projects. Guidelines

Read the FAQs
Check our Frequently Asked Questions area to find answers to your questions about HMGP. FAQs

Download Forms and Guides
Check the Resources area to download Guidebooks and Forms for use in your mitigation project. Resources

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