More than 15 months after Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey has approved awarding little more than a quarter of the money available from the largest housing assistance program it established to help those most affected by the hurricane, and has actually…
Owners may want to delay elevating houses until FEMA grants are announced
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon today advised homeowners affected by Sandy that they may want to hold off on mitigation repairs until the specifics of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (“HMGP”) are announced. The HMGP provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The program enables mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
“These grants can help fund elevating houses and other, expensive mitigation work,” explained O’Scanlon. “Once the state advertises that HMGP funding is available for mitigation projects in the state, those interested in applying to the HMGP should contact their local government to begin the application process. Local governments should then contact their State Hazard Mitigation Officer so the needs of each town can be assessed.
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, for example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages. In addition, a project’s potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project
“HMGP grants can fund up to 75% of a total project,” O’Scanlon told. “Homeowners need to seriously think before shelling out a lot of money to elevate their homes. If they can wait, these grants may be a great way to offset the costs of expensive mitigation work. While not everyone is approved for a grant, it looks like New Jersey may be receiving a sizeable amount of aid from the Sandy Aid Package. It only makes sense for homeowners to consider these grants as a possible source of assistance when planning expensive home repairs.”