CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES APPROVAL OF FIRST SANDY ELEVATION GRANTS FROM DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION’S HMGP ELEVATION PROGRAM
PROGRAM PROVIDES GRANTS UP TO $30,000 TO HELP RESIDENTS WITH COST OF RAISING STRUCTURES
(14/P23) TRENTON –The Christie Administration today announced approval of the first Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) awards to assist homeowners with costs incurred in elevating their homes to protect against future flooding and storms. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved projects for 26 properties in Brigantine, Atlantic County.
New Jersey has committed $100 million in HMGP funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to elevate approximately 2,700 primary residential structures in the nine counties deemed most impacted by Superstorm Sandy – Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.
Under the HMGP Elevation Program, eligible recipients receive up to $30,000 for a broad range of work associated with home elevations, including engineering, construction, permits and utility work. The money is reimbursed after the work is completed. Homes must be deemed structurally sound to be eligible.
“As part of the State’s multifaceted approach to flood hazard risk reduction, these grants provide needed financial assistance to homeowners who are working to elevate their homes so they are protected against future storms and flooding,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “In addition to moving people and property out of harm’s way, elevating homes will reduce flood insurance premiums for homeowners by helping them comply with FEMA flood maps.”
The application period for the elevation program closed in September 2013. The DEP is continuing to review and process more than 3,000 active applications from homeowners in nearly 100 municipalities. More than half of the homeowners who applied are in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
Homeowners who have received grants from the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program are not eligible for HMGP elevation grants.
Homes that are elevated must meet the State’s elevation standard, which is the best available FEMA flood elevation standard plus one foot of freeboard. Those receiving grants must agree to maintain flood insurance for their properties and comply with all National Flood Insurance Program rules. Federal Duplication of Benefits rules also apply to any grant awards under the HMGP Elevation Program. Applicants may not begin physical elevation construction prior to receiving authorization from the DEP.
Other key Sandy recovery programs at the DEP include the Blue Acres Acquisition Program, which is acquiring 1,300 properties in Sandy-impacted areas and other areas that have sustained repetitive flood losses. The DEP also is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to advance beach and dune construction projects along the state’s entire coastline that will reduce risk to life, property and infrastructure.
For more on Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey, visit http://www.state.nj.us/gorr/ and http://www.state.nj.us/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/