FEMA will fund the approved projects at 75 percent, but the applicant must secure the 25 percent matching funds prior to receiving funding from FEMA. This can be very difficult for small communities or those that have limited budgets as the process can take years. It’s also important to note that projects funded through the 404 Mitigation Program must be deemed cost-effective before they are considered for funding. Applicants considering a 404 mitigation project should develop a long-term mitigation strategy and contact the state hazard mitigation officer as soon as possible to assist in the process.
As outlined by FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program information page, the following answers some of the basic questions regarding the HMGP process.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding is only available to applicants that reside within a presidentially declared disaster area. Eligible applicants include:
Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however a community may apply on their behalf.
HMGP funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem. An example of this would be the elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project’s potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage.
The state’s administrative plan governs how projects are selected for funding. However, proposed projects must meet certain minimum criteria. These criteria are designed to ensure that the most cost-effective and appropriate projects are selected for funding. Both the law and the regulations require that the projects are part of an overall mitigation strategy for the disaster area.
The state prioritizes and selects project applications developed and submitted by local jurisdictions. The state forwards applications consistent with state mitigation planning objectives to FEMA for eligibility review. Funding for this grant program is limited and states and local communities must make difficult decisions as to the most effective use of grant funds.
There are five issues that must be considered when determining the eligibility of a proposed project: