WILDWOOD – City officials are urging local homeowners who find the height of their homes lower than the new flood risk insurance map requirements to apply for funding that will help offset the cost of raising their home’s elevation. Homeowners can obtain up to $30,000 through a grant to elevate their homes, thereby possibly mitigating future storm damage and reducing flood insurance premiums.
According to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the state received $100 million from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to assist homeowners in raising their homes.
The HMGP Elevation Program is not a loan. It is a grant program designed to help homeowners elevate their primary, single-family residence to meet the requirements of the new flood insurance risk maps. Eligible applicants can receive up to $30,000.
Properties that were not damaged by Hurricane Sandy, but need to be elevated in order to be compliant with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), state and local flood hazard elevation requirements are eligible to apply for a HMGP grant.
Homeowners can visit FEMA’s website at www.region2coastal.com/sandy/table to see the base flood elevation, as well as the flood zone for their property.
Eligibility requirements include the property being owned and occupied by the applicant at the time of Superstorm Sandy; the home must be located in the 100-year floodplain; the applicant must not be a recipient of funding from the DCA Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program; the property must not be targeted for acquisition under the state HMGP Acquisition Program; and no elevation work has been started prior to application.
With the September 15, 2013 deadline looming, three meetings to explain the HMGP program have been scheduled throughout the county. City homeowners interested in applying for grant money may attend a meeting on:
September 9th at Lower Township Town Hall, 2600 Bayshore Avenue, Villas
September 10th at the Ocean City Library, located at 1735 Simpson Avenue, Ocean City
September 12th at the Avalon Community Hall located at 3001 Avalon Avenue
All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. Information regarding HMGP grants will be available at each meeting, as well as assistance in applying for a grant.
Those wishing to apply online may do so at www.renewjerseystronger.org, or contact the DCA at 1-855-SANDYHM. Assistance in both English and Spanish is available.
“There are no income restrictions,” said Lisa Ryan of the DCA. “Even if homeowners did not sustain damage, they can still apply. The grants are about mitigation.”
“The City of Wildwood is very concerned about its property owners and those who have been adversely affected by not only Superstorm Sandy, but by the new elevation maps. We encourage our residents to apply for this grant,” said Mayor Ernie Troiano. “City officials are always available to assist and guide our homeowners.” Troiano expressed his gratitude to the DCA for its assistance in helping to alleviate the financial burden on homeowners. “We are grateful to the DCA for its help in offering this grant to the residential homeowners in the City of Wildwood.”