Home Elevations for Homeowners Impacted by Hurricane Ida
The NJ Department of Community Affairs will invest $30 million from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to help homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ida elevate their homes to protect themselves from future flooding disasters.
This new round of funding announced yesterday (July 19) is the second phase of the Murphy Administration’s Ida Recovery Strategy.
In order to determine the best use for these “elevation funds,” DCA is asking for resident input. Thus, homeowners in Ida-impacted areas are encouraged to complete the Hurricane Ida Survey on the DCA website as soon as possible.
This additional $30 million in funds builds on the $50 million investment in the Blue Acres Buyout Program announced by the governor in May of this year.
The third phase of the Murphy Administration’s Ida Recovery Strategy includes $228 million in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding that was awarded to NJ in May of this year. To use the $228 million in CDBG-DR funding, DCA must first develop a Hurricane Ida Recovery Action Plan. The DCA is working on this Action Plan and will submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) no later than September 28, 2022, for review and approval.
Elevation is one of many mitigation methods useful in reducing or avoiding major flood risks and damages to homes. The process generally involves physically raising an existing structure above base flood elevation levels on piles, posts, or piers, while using several different methods to ensure the structure is properly anchored once raised.
The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) does not address immediate recovery needs right after a disaster strikes. Instead, the HMGP provides homeowners with funds to prevent or reduce damage from future disasters through mitigation measures. These mitigation measures can include elevating existing homes in the path of flood planes to lessen the risk of loss of life, property damage, and displacement.
The Division of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation will select properties to participate in the HMGP and plans to submit them to FEMA for approval this fall, with construction/elevation work beginning in 2023. The program is starting first in Fairfield Township, Essex County, with the help of a $5 million grant from FEMA.