New FEMA Hazard Mitigation Funding Opportunities

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Krista Melnar

Stormwater Engineer

As hurricane season is upon us, our partners throughout the country in the floodplain management sector are exploring ways to increase resiliency. As with many issues in public works, funding is the most substantial challenge to transforming communities. However, traditional municipal bonds don’t have to be the only source of funding for resiliency projects. FEMA recently announced the availability of two new nationwide pre-disaster hazard mitigation grant opportunities that could fund your project. Below is a short description of each, including the websites, application period, and funding limits.

Please feel free to reach out to me, Krista Melnar (512-828-3676), Freese and Nichols Funding Specialist Mark Evans (512-596-3670), or your Freese and Nichols project manager for more details.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

  • Application Period – September 30, 2020, through January 29, 2021, at 3 p.m. Eastern
  • Total Amount Available$500 million, which breaks down to $33.6 million State/Territory Allocation, $20 million Tribal Set-Aside, and $446.4 million National Competition for Mitigation Projects.
  • Funding Limits – Each state may apply for up to $600,000 for mitigation projects and/or capability and capacity-building activities like project scoping, outreach, and data collection, as well as hazard mitigation planning. Mitigation planning and planning-related activities are limited to $300,000 per state. Each state may also apply for up to $50 million under the national competition. States may also submit for grant management of up to 10–15 percent of the total grant award.
  • Grant Amount – Generally 75% FEMA with a 25% local match; higher grant amounts are possible for small impoverished communities.

BRIC is a new FEMA pre-disaster hazard mitigation program that will support states, local communities, tribes, and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. BRIC priorities include incentivizing public infrastructure projects, incentivizing projects that mitigate risk to one or more lifelines, incentivizing projects that incorporate nature-based solutions, and increasing funding to applicants that facilitate the adoption and enforcement of the latest published editions of building codes.

Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)

  • Application Period – September 30, 2020, through January 29, 2021 at 3 p.m. Eastern
  • Total Amount Available$160 million, which breaks down to $4 million for project scoping, $70 million for community flood mitigation projects, and $86 million for technical assistance, flood hazard mitigation planning, and individual flood mitigation projects.
  • Funding Limits – $600,000 for project scoping per state; $30 million for community flood mitigation projects per project; 5% of grant funds awarded for subrecipient management costs and other categories.

FMA’s purpose is to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program. Eligible applicants include states, tribes, territories, and units of local government. Eligible mitigation activities include property acquisition and structure demolition/relocation, elevation, mitigation reconstruction, dry floodproofing of historic and non-residential structures, projects that reduce localized flood risk, structural retrofitting of existing buildings, non-structural retrofitting of existing buildings and facilities, infrastructure retrofit, soil stabilization, localized flood control, floodwater storage and diversion, floodplain and stream restoration, stormwater management, wetland restoration/creation, and project scoping.

Next Steps

We encourage you to call me, Krista Melnar (512-828-3676), Freese and Nichols Funding Specialist Mark Evans (512-596-3670), or contact your Freese and Nichols project manager for more details. We can advise you on funding eligibility and requirements. You can also view recordings of FEMA BRIC virtual sessions.

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Krista Melnar, PE, CFM, PMP, is the Stormwater Practice Leader in Austin.