ORLANDO, Fla. – FEMA has approved a grant of $2,386,546 for Brevard County to acquire 18 flood-prone homes in Cocoa West and convert the properties to green space to prevent future damage from flooding.
After Hurricane Irma in 2017, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) will assist Brevard County in reducing damage and providing protection against a 100-year storm event. The homes, roadways and sidewalks will be demolished and the properties will be deed-restricted to ensure they remain green space.
The grant is funded by the HMGP, an important source of federal disaster assistance. Funding from the program may become available following the president’s declaration of a major disaster, with a goal of strengthening communities by improving buildings, facilities and infrastructure that people use every day. A 2018 report by the National Institute of Building Sciences found that one dollar spent on hazard mitigation will save more than six dollars of recovery and rebuilding costs.
Generally, the HMGP may provide a state, tribe or territory with additional grants up to 15 percent of the total disaster grants awarded by FEMA for a federally declared disaster. States such as Florida that meet higher mitigation planning criteria may qualify for a higher percentage.
Florida has a FEMA-approved Enhanced Mitigation Plan, making the state eligible for HMGP funding not to exceed 20 percent of the estimated total amount of money spent by FEMA on disaster grants in the Hurricane Irma disaster. From this amount, the HMGP reimburses the state up to 75 percent of eligible costs for hazard mitigation projects. The remaining amount comes from other sources such as state and local assets and a combination of cash and in-kind sources.