Flood Mitigation Assistance Program | Texas Water Development Board

FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program

Photo courtesy of TxDOTThe Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides federal funding to help states and communities pay for cost effective measures to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to structures that are insurable under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The goal of the FMA program is to reduce or eliminate claims under the NFIP and to reduce or eliminate the dependence on taxpayer-funded federal disaster assistance for disaster recovery.

The Texas Water Development Board administers the FMA grant program for the State of Texas on behalf of FEMA.

Generally, local jurisdictions or political subdivisions (Cities, Counties, Special Districts, etc.) will sponsor applications (referred to as a subapplication) on behalf of homeowners and then submit the subapplication to the TWDB through FEMA's eGrants system. In turn, the TWDB will review submitted subapplications for eligibility and will include eligible subapplications on the State application that is sent to FEMA for consideration.

Homeowners are unable to apply directly to the TWDB or FEMA for an FMA grant. As a homeowner, you may contact your local floodplain administrator or other local officials to find out about your community's interest in applying for an FMA grant.

The FMA program is a nationally competitive grant program with limited funds each year. FEMA chooses the subapplications to fund based on specific criteria including the program eligibility, the cost-effectiveness of the project, and the most effective use of grant funds. Mitigation projects and plans that offer the best savings to the NFIP over time will be most successful. FEMA awards FMA funds to the TWDB, who in-turn provide subawards to local government subapplicants.

More specific information on the details of the FMA funding cycle can be found in FEMA's FMA Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The NOFO may also be found on grants.gov. More detailed and technical information on the grant program is in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance document and its addendum.

If you have questions about the FMA grant program, please contact Kathy Hopkins, at (512) 463-6198, Ivan Ortiz, at (512) 463-8184, or Niamh Gray at (512) 475-1514.

Ike damaged homeThe Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant application period for FY2019 opened September 30, 2019. Subapplications are due to the TWDB through FEMA's eGrants system by close of business November 22, 2019. Applicant must request access into the eGrants system through the TWDB.

The FY2019 FMA factsheet has more detail on the prioritization of funds within the FMA program. During September and October, FEMA will conduct webinars explaining the FY2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and eGrants for prospective applicants. Click here for the webinar schedule.

Eligible Activities

There are two main categories of activities that are eligible for funding through an FMA grant: planning and project:

  • FMA Planning Grants: To develop or update the Flood Hazard component of a community's Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.
  • FMA Project Grants: To implement cost effective measures that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the NFIP. Project grants can be used for but are not limited to:
    • acquisition and demolition or relocation of structures,
    • structure elevation,
    • mitigation reconstruction,
    • localized flood reduction projects,
    • dry flood-proofing of non-residential properties and historic residential properties,
    • structural retrofitting of existing buildings,
    • non-structural retrofitting of existing buildings and facilities,
    • infrastructure retrofit, and
    • soil stabilization.

Application Process

Subapplicants submit planning and project subapplications via the eGrants system to the TWDB during the annual FMA application period. The TWDB reviews the subapplications to determine if they are complete and meet the FMA program's requirements. The TWDB will work with subapplicants to ensure eligible subapplications are administratively complete before submission to FEMA.

Planning subapplications must be used only to support the flood hazard portion of State, tribal, or local mitigation plans, to meet the requirements outlined in 44 CFR Part 201 Mitigation Planning.

Projects subapplications must be consistent with the goals and objectives identified in the current, FEMA-approved State or Tribal (Standard or Enhanced) hazard mitigation plan along with the local hazard mitigation plan for the jurisdiction in which the activity is located. A community applying for an FMA Project Grant must have an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan in accordance with 44 CFR Part 201.

Eligibility Criteria

A project must, at a minimum, be:

  • cost effective and beneficial to the National Flood Insurance Fund. The Benefit Cost Ratio must yield 1.0 or greater
  • technically feasible; and
  • physically located in a participating NFIP community or it must reduce future flood damages in an NFIP community.

A project must also conform with:

  • the minimum standards of the NFIP Floodplain Management Regulations;
  • the applicant's Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan; and
  • all applicable laws and regulations, such as Federal and State environmental standards or local building codes.

New for FY19 FMA Subapplications:
All Community Flood Mitigation Project subapplications must now include a Geo Enabled Project Benefiting Area Map that identifies the entire mitigation area and every NFIP-insured structure that will be protected by the proposed project.

Subpplicant Eligibility

Eligible subapplicants:

  • are local jurisdications/political subdivisions that participate in (are in good standing with) the NFIP,
  • have a FEMA approved and locally adopted Hazard Mitigation Plan by the application deadline (for project, advance assistance, and technical assistance subapplications), and
  • include only structures that have active NFIP flood insurance policies in force at the opening of the application period, October 1, 2019, and must maintain it through completion of the mitigation activity and for the life of the structure in their subapplication.

Cost Sharing and Funding Limitations

The FMA program provides funds to mitigate NFIP–insured properties and has an annual appropriation from the National Flood Insurance Fund (NFIF). The FMA program has varying cost shares depending on the extent of NFIP claims the property has experienced.

Cost Share Requirements

When developing FMA applications, identifying the local cost share source is important. A potentially eligible project may not be possible if the cost share requirement cannot be met by the community. It is important to plan ahead to take advantage of opportunities for cost share.

FMA Program Federal/ Local Cost Share
If the project mitigates a property not identified as Repetitive Loss (RL) or a Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) or is a drainage or planning subgrant. 75/25
If the project mitigates an RL property 90/10
If the project mitigates an SRL property 100/0

Local cost share for an FMA program may come from a variety of places:

  • Some sub applicants provide part or all the local matching funds. These funds can come from general or special appropriations such as a stormwater management fund, or other local funding program.
  • It may be passed down to the property owners, who may be able to use their increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage from a flood insurance policy
  • Donated resources and services may be applied to the matching funds.

Depending on the source of the local match, a Duplication of Benefits (DOB) analysis might be required.

Funding Limitations

Project Grants: FEMA may contribute up to 100 percent of the total eligible costs for severe repetitive loss (SRL) properties. FEMA may contribute up to 90 percent federal cost share for repetitive loss (RL) properties. For properties that have not had previous flood claims, FEMA may contribute up to 75 percent of the eligible activity costs.

Planning Grants: FEMA may contribute federal funds up to 75 percent of the total eligible cost for planning grants. Planning grants are intended only for activities that develop or update the flood hazard component of a jurisdiction's Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which must meet the planning requirements under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 44 Part 201. The maximum Federal Share for FMA planning subgrants are $25,000 for local Hazard Mitigation Plans up to $100,000 per state.

flooded Houston parkDuring the past three funding cycles, FEMA has offer Community Flood Mitigation Advance Assistance for project development purposed. The available funding varies by year. Please review the NOFO for the funding year for more details.

Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

An approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (Mitigation Plan), whether single or multi-jurisdictional, is an eligibility requirement of a community in order to apply for an FMA project grant.

The Mitigation Plan is submitted to FEMA for approval through the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). The Mitigation Plan must assess flood risk and identify technically feasible and cost-effective options to reduce that risk. The Mitigation Plan must describe the planning process and public involvement during the planning process in developing the Mitigation Plan and must provide proper documentation of its formal adoption by the jurisdiction.

Application Period

The Texas Water Development Board is accepting applications during the "Request for Application" time frame, which for FY19 is from Sept. 30th to Nov. 22nd. It is required that applications be submitted electronically through FEMA's web-based Electronic Grants Management System (e-Grants). Subapplicants must request access into the e-Grants system by contacting the TWDB.

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to:

Ms. Kathy Hopkins
Texas Water Development Board
Flood Mitigation Planning
1700 North Congress, P.O. Box 13231
Austin, Texas 78711-3231
Telephone: (512) 463-6198 | Email: kathy.hopkins@twdb.texas.gov

Mr. Ivan Ortiz
Texas Water Development Board
Flood Mitigation Planning
1700 North Congress, P.O. Box 13231
Austin, Texas 78711-3231
Telephone: (512) 463-8184 | Email: ivan.ortiz@twdb.texas.gov

Ms. Niamh Gray
Texas Water Development Board
Flood Mitigation Planning
1700 North Congress, P.O. Box 13231
Austin, Texas 78711-3231
Telephone: (512) 475-1514 | Email: niamh.gray@twdb.texas.gov