Federal, state and local grant programs help homeowners in flood-prone areas with the cost of literally raising the elevation of their house if it is in a low-lying area prone to flooding. Use all your resources and learn whether your home qualifies for any house-raising grants.
Road Home Elevation Grant
Road Home Elevation grants required that you showed interest in the program by June 16, 2008. Grants of up to $30,000 for a house and $20,000 for a mobile home were used to raise applicants' houses so they met the local Base Flood Elevation or Advisory Base Flood Elevation. If you accepted the grant funds, you had to complete the raising within three years of receiving the funding or return the funds.
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National Flood Insurance Program and Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage
Under FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, if your house was substantially damaged by flooding, the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage may help you pay for raising your house. According to the Abry Brothers website, the ICC offers $30,000 to defray the cost of elevating your house. To be eligible, you must have held flood insurance before Hurricane Katrina; your house must sit below the required height; and the authorities must show a damage assessment of more than 50 percent.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
FEMA's Office of Community Development Disaster Recovery Unit, OCD-DRU, runs the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, HMGP. Hazard mitigation lessens the damages in the next storm by elevating your house to the level FEMA requires. It grants up to $100,000 to cover the cost of elevation.
Eligibility is established by FEMA regulations and the OCD-DRU and HMGP requirements. For eligibility, the homeowner must be an eligible participant in the Road Home program and must have selected Option 1 for keeping his home; must own the home that was eligible under the Road Home program; the house must either be in a FEMA-designated area or FEMA guidelines deem it beneficial to raise the house; the homeowner must agree to abide by all regulations of FEMA and its affiliates; and the house must be cleared by FEMA.
Severe Repetitive Loss Program
FEMA offers grants in localities with repeated flooding damage under the Severe Repetitive Loss Program. Your local area must have been approved by FEMA if you hope to qualify for this program. Only homeowners with national flood insurance coverage qualify. The property must have received at least $20,000 in previous national flood insurance claim payments for both building and contents in up to four different claims, or at least two flood insurance payments must have been made on the building only, which exceeded the value of the building. These claims must have occurred within a 10-year window and the events must be at least 10 days apart.