Flood Mitigation Assistance Home Elevation Grant Information

UPDATE – November 17th, 2015:

City of Houston 2015 FMA Elevation Project-SRL/RL Properties has been “Identified for Further Review”  by FEMA according to Flood Mitigation Assistance FY 2015 Sub-application Status at https://www.fema.gov/flood-mitigation-assistance-fy-2015-subapplication-status.

This means that the City’s application may be funded by FEMA pending favorable completion of environmental and historical, tribal, programmatic, and financial reviews of each property. Once all of the reviews are complete and funding is made available, FEMA will award the sub-grant to Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

FEMA anticipates that award may occur by December 31, 2015.  Historically awards have occurred later – in April or May.  The award date is determined by FEMA and is outside of the control of TWDB and the City of Houston.  Assuming that the award date occurs as planned the first elevation projects are anticipated to begin in Summer 2016.

In order to continue to be eligible for this award, homeowners must continue to maintain flood insurance.  Applicants identified as candidates and alternates are asked to keep their contact information up to date with the City of Houston Floodplain Management Office so that they can receive updated information and announcements about the City’s FMA grant program.  Please contact FMO with questions at fmo@houstontx.gov or 832.394.8854.

The City of Houston is applying for a Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in an effort to help Houstonians who were affected by the Memorial Day Floods pay for required repairs under FEMA and City of Houston Guidelines.

More information on Flood Mitigation Assistance – Home Elevation

Presentation on Flood Mitigation Assistance – Home Elevation


Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: September 17, 2015

The City of Houston applied for a Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant (FMA) through the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to FEMA. The financial grant assistance application was for elevation of selected floodplain structures. The grant for the entire State of Texas was submitted by TWDB on August 31, 2015 and the grant will compete nationwide for a portion of $150 million in federal funds.

1. When will I find out if the City’s FMA grant application was funded by FEMA?  FEMA has indicated that the community applications that have been selected for funding will be announced by October 31, 2015. FEMA is expected to award the grant funds to the states two (2) to seven (7) months after the announcement. These dates are set by FEMA and are subject to change. This schedule is not in the City’s control.

2. Can I use Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) funds to pay my homeowner share of the grant project costs?  Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) funds can be used to help pay the homeowner’s share of any eligible costs. Grant benefits or ICC benefits may be reduced if there is any duplication of benefits.

3. How does accepting a Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan affect the grant?  If a grant participant has obtained an SBA Loan, there will be a duplication of benefits review. Use of SBA loan funds designated for mitigation could disqualify a property from receiving FMA grant funds or reduce FMA benefits.

4. If the City is selected for funding, when will my house be elevated?  If the City’s grant application is awarded funding, the City will make every effort to initiate the elevation projects as soon as possible. If FEMA and TWDB proceed with the award process as they have in the past, the City will start elevation projects in Summer 2016. Please note that this schedule is, in part, dependent on FEMA and TWDB and is subject to change.

5. Can I repair my house now while I’m waiting to find out if I will receive the FMA grant?  If your house is not substantially damaged you can obtain the required flood damage repair permits and start repair work at any time. The method of elevation planned for the City’s grant project is minimally invasive and, if awarded, the grant will pay for any needed repairs to restore any elevation related damage to the interior of your home. If your house is substantially damaged, you must include bringing your home into compliance as part of your repair project.

6. I want to elevate my house now. If the grant is awarded, can I be reimbursed for eligible elevation costs?  No, reimbursement of pre-award construction costs is specifically prohibited by FEMA under the FMA Grant Program. If you choose to elevate your house before the grant is awarded and/or without following the procedures approved by FEMA, you will be disqualified from receiving grant funds.

7. I decided that would rather demolish my house and rebuild it, rather than elevate it. If awarded, can I use the FMA funds for that purpose instead?  No, if awarded, the FMA funds may only be used for eligible home elevation costs.

8. Will I be able to pick my elevation contractor?  If selected for funding, the City will complete a process to identify qualified elevation contractors. Participating homeowners will be able to select a contractor from this list.


Still have questions?  Contact the City of Houston Floodplain Management Office via email at fmo@houstontx.gov, or via phone at 832.394.8854.

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