Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) | Texas Water Development Board

Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF)

Board Adopted Flood Intended Use Plan
Board Approved Structure of Financing and Terms of Subsidy
Board Approved FIF Prioritization List and Eligible Funding Amounts
Prioritization Scoring Detail

FIF Applications and Pre-Application Webinars

Passed by the Legislature and approved by Texas voters through a constitutional amendment, the FIF program provides financial assistance in the form of loans and grants for flood control, flood mitigation, and drainage projects. The Flood Intended Use Plan (Flood IUP) details the structure of each funding cycle.

In addition to its administration of the FIF, the TWDB is working collaboratively with the Texas General Land office and Texas Division of Emergency Management to assist communities in determining which of the available funding sources for flood-related projects is the best fit for them. The Flood Information Clearinghouse Committee (FLICC) represents an ongoing multi-agency effort to maximize the effective utilization of public funding resources and help communities identify the source they would like to pursue.

1. What activities are eligible for FIF assistance?

FIF rules allow for a wide range of flood projects, including structural and nonstructural projects as well as nature-based solutions. Examples include:

Planning Phase Activities
  • Preliminary engineering
  • Project design
  • Feasibility assessments
  • Coordination and development of regional projects
  • Obtaining regulatory approvals
  • Hydraulic and hydrologic studies
Construction/Rehabilitation Phase Activities
  • Drainage infrastructure (channels, ditches, ponds, pipes, etc.)
  • Flood control infrastructure
  • Flood mitigation infrastructure
  • Retention basins
  • Detention ponds
  • Sustainable infrastructure
  • Nonstructural flood mitigation
  • Development of or amendments to flood related codes
  • Permeable pavement
  • Erosion control
  • Levees
  • Pump stations
  • Rehabilitation of existing infrastructure taking into consideration implementation of improved resiliency, not including costs associated with current or future operations and maintenance activities
  • Property acquisitions determined to be the best solution for highest-risk properties
  • Restoration of riparian corridors, floodplains, coastal areas, wetlands, etc.
  • Natural erosion and runoff control
  • Reasonable amount of improvements to ancillary systems directly related to the project as determined by TWDB
Other Eligible Activities

The assistance is also able to support activities that may not traditionally be thought of as flood projects. These include:

  • Warning systems
  • Stream gages
  • Educational campaigns
  • Crossing barriers
Project Categories

As outlined in the Flood IUP, eligible projects will fall into one of four categories:

  • Category 1 – Flood Protection Planning for Watersheds
  • Category 2 – Planning, Acquisition, Design, Construction, Rehabilitation.
  • Category 3 – Federal Award Matching Funds
  • Category 4 – Measures Immediately Effective in Protecting Life and Property

2. Who is eligible to receive FIF assistance?

Political subdivisions are eligible to apply for financial assistance for flood mitigation projects. This includes cities, counties, and any district or authority created under Article III, Section 52 or Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution.

Specific to Category 1, "Flood Protection Planning for Watersheds" only, eligible political subdivision applicants includes a city, county, district or authority created under Article III, Section 52, or Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution, any other political subdivision of the state, any interstate compact commission to which the state is a party, and any nonprofit water supply corporation created and operating under Chapter 67.

3. What type of assistance is available?

The FIF program provides opportunities for loans with an interest rate of 0% and grants, with the methodology for determining the eligible grant amount based on the category in which the project falls:

Category 1 – Flood Protection Planning for Watersheds:
  1. Income and federal disaster declaration: If the AMHI of the study area ≤ 50% of the state-wide AMHI and the project area was the subject of a flood-related federal disaster declaration within the past 5 years – 100% grant; or
  2. Income only:
    • If the AMHI of the study area ≤ 75% of the state-wide AMHI - 90% grant with 10% local share of the total cost to political subdivisions; or
    • If the AMHI of the study area > 75% and ≤ 125% of the state-wide AMHI - 75% grant with 25% local share of the total cost to political subdivisions; or
    • If the AMHI of the study area > 125% of the state-wide AMHI - 50% grant with 50% local share of the total cost to political subdivisions.

In-kind services may be substituted for any part of the local share, if such services are directly in support of the planning effort, are fully explained and documented in the complete application, and approved as part of the TWDB commitment.

Category 2 – Planning, Acquisition, Design, Construction, Rehabilitation

Loans with interest rate of 0% or grants based on the following method. The sum of all qualifying grant percentages below will represent the overall grant allocation. The remainder of funds requested will be provided in the form of a zero interest (0%) loan.

  1. Outside of Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): If the project is entirely located outside of an MSA, then 10% grant.
  2. Income:
    • AMHI ≤ 85% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 10% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 75% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 25% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 65% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 30% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 50% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 40% grant.
  3. Unemployment Rate: If the unemployment rate exceeds the state-wide rate, then calculate as the unemployment rate / state-wide unemployment rate X 2.5%, then round up to nearest integer (Up to 5% maximum grant).
  4. Population Decline %: If the population has declined, then calculate as Prior population less Current population / Prior Population as a percentage, then round up to nearest integer (Up to 5% maximum grant).
  5. Rural Applicant: 5% grant if
    • All entities within the project benefit area are outside MSAs and have populations <10,000; or
    • a district or municipality with a service area of 10,000 or less in population; or
    • a county in which no urban area exceeds 50,000 in population.
  6. Green / Nature-Based: If 30% of total project costs are considered Green or Nature-Based, then 5% grant, provided either the project is located outside of an MSA or it meets one of the income, unemployment rate, population decline, or rural applicant qualifiers above.

Note: It is not necessary to meet one of the AMHI thresholds to obtain the grant funding. Applicants are eligible for grant funding for any of the qualifiers the project meets. (Note: To qualify for the Green / Nature-Based option, the project must be located outside of an MSA or meet one of the income, unemployment rate, declining population, or rural applicant qualifiers).

Category 3 – Federal Award Matching Funds

Loans with interest rate of 0% or grants for a portion of the applicant’s required federal match amount based on the following method. The sum of all qualifying grant percentages below will represent the overall grant allocation. However, regardless of the number of grant qualifiers, the total grant % may not exceed 90% grant, with 10% local share.

  1. Outside of MSA: If the project is entirely located outside of an MSA, then 10% grant.
  2. Income:
    • AMHI ≤ 85% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 40% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 75% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 55% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 65% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 60% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 50% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 70% grant.
  3. Unemployment Rate: If the unemployment rate exceeds the state-wide rate, then calculate as the unemployment rate / state-wide unemployment rate X 2.5%, then round up to nearest integer (Up to 5% maximum grant).
  4. Population decline %: If the population has declined, then calculate as Prior population less Current population / Prior Population as a percentage, then round up to nearest integer (Up to 5% maximum grant).
  5. Rural Applicant: 5% grant if
    • All entities within the project benefit area are outside MSAs and have populations <10,000; or
    • a district or municipality with a service area of 10,000 or less in population; or
    • a county in which no urban area exceeds 50,000 in population.
  6. Green / Nature-Based: if 30% of total project costs are considered Green or Nature-Based, then 5% grant, provided either the project is located outside of an MSA or it meets one of the income, unemployment rate, population decline, or rural applicant qualifiers above.

Note: It is not necessary to meet one of the AMHI thresholds to obtain the grant funding. Applicants are eligible for grant funding for any of the qualifiers the project meets. (Note: To qualify for the Green / Nature-Based option, the project must be located outside of an MSA or meet one of the income, unemployment rate, population decline or rural applicant qualifiers).

Category 4 – Measures Immediately Effective in Protecting Life and Property

Loans with interest rate of 0% or grants based on the following method. The sum of all qualifying grant percentages below will represent the overall grant allocation. The remainder of funds requested will be provided in the form of a zero interest (0%) loan. Regardless of the number of grant qualifiers, the total grant % may not exceed 90% grant.

  1. Outside of MSA: If the project is entirely located outside of an MSA, then 10% grant.
  2. Income:
    • AMHI ≤ 85% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 40% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 75% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 55% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 65% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 60% grant, or
    • AMHI ≤ 50% of the state-wide AMHI are eligible to receive 70% grant.
  3. Unemployment Rate: If the unemployment rate exceeds the state-wide rate, then calculate as the unemployment rate / state-wide unemployment rate X 2.5%, then round up to nearest integer (Up to 5% maximum grant).
  4. Population decline %: If the population has declined, then calculate as Prior population less Current population / Prior Population as a percentage, then round up to nearest integer (Up to 5% maximum grant).
  5. Rural Applicant: 5% grant if
    • All entities within the project benefit area are outside MSAs and have populations <10,000; or
    • a district or municipality with a service area of 10,000 or less in population; or
    • a county in which no urban area exceeds 50,000 in population.
  6. Green / Nature- Based: If 30% of total project costs are considered Green or Nature-Based, then 5% grant, provided either the project is located outside of an MSA or it meets one of the income, unemployment rate, population decline, or rural applicant qualifiers above.

Note: It is not necessary to meet one of the AMHI thresholds to obtain the grant funding. Applicants are eligible for grant funding for any of the qualifiers the project meets. (Note: To qualify for the Green / Nature-Based option, the project must be located outside of an MSA or meet one of the income, unemployment rate, population decline or rural applicant qualifiers).

4. Are there requirements unique to FIF that existing TWDB customers should be aware of?

All projects seeking funding consideration are subject to specific Minimum Standards, described in detail in the Flood IUP.

  1. Benefit/Cost Ratio Analysis: both the costs and the benefits of proposed projects must be quantified and reported. The benefits may include a variety of items including, but not limited to, property losses avoided risk of injuries or fatalities prevented, and economic disruption or environmental losses avoided. Additional guidance and suggested methodologies are provided in the Flood IUP.
  2. Memorandum of Understanding: If the project is a flood control project, as defined by 31 TAC § 363.402(3), and the project watershed is partially located outside the political subdivision that is filing the application, the applicant must submit a memorandum of understanding (MOU) relating to management of the project watershed. The MOU must be approved and signed by all governing bodies of eligible political subdivisions located in the project watershed. For the Abridged Application, the applicant must submit a list of all eligible political subdivisions that will be required to approve and sign an MOU and a certification that it has provided a copy of the proposed MOU and an adequately detailed description of the proposed project to all eligible political subdivisions on the list.
  3. An affidavit that the applicant has acted cooperatively with other political subdivisions (as defined in 31 TAC § 363.402(2)) to address flood control needs in the area in which the eligible political subdivisions are located; and all eligible political subdivisions (as defined in 31 TAC § 363.402(2)) substantially affected by the proposed flood project have participated in the process of developing the proposed flood project, recognizing that providing adequate notice and ample opportunity to any such eligible political subdivision that elects not to participate further would fulfill this requirement, provided evidence of notification is included in the application. The affidavit must be provided with the complete application, not the abridged application.
  4. The funding request must not include redundant funding for activities already performed and/or funded through another source.
  5. The area to be served by the proposed project must have floodplain ordinances or orders, as applicable, in place and the appropriate entity must certify that it is currently enforcing floodplain management standards at least equivalent to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) minimum standards, but may exceed the NFIP minimum standard. The only exception to the certification is an entity that is requesting FIF funding to fulfill additional requirements for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
  6. The proposed project must be developed using the best/most recent available data.
  7. Applicants for construction funds must be able to document that they:
    1. planned for operations and maintenance costs associated with the proposed facilities, (note: operations and maintenance are not eligible costs under this program) and
    2. considered possible floodwater capture techniques that could be associated with the proposed project for water supply purposes.

5. How does the application and selection process work?

The FIF application is a two-step process: Abridged Applications provide the TWDB with information needed to prioritize projects according to criteria described in further detail in the Flood IUP:

  • Priority projects: points for Category 1 projects
  • Priority projects: points for Category 4 projects
  • Rural applicants
  • Emergency need due to recent or imminent failure, or recent flood-related disaster declarations
  • Distributed benefits (i.e. projects that are expected to directly benefit or include the active participation of other political subdivisions)
  • Timely completion
  • Water supply benefits associated with construction projects
  • Floodplain impacts: structures anticipated to no longer be located in a floodplain due to the proposed project’s impact on floodplain characteristics
  • Points for projects consisting of planning, acquisition, and design only (no construction/rehabilitation funds requested)
  • Points for non-structural flood mitigation elements constituting at least 20% of total project costs
  • Tiebreaker: social vulnerability index (SVI), using the SVI metric developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Applicants whose projects rank within the program's available capacity are invited to submit full financial assistance applications, which provide more detailed financial, legal, engineering, and other information. Once the technical review process has been completed, the project is presented to the Board for funding consideration.

6. How may I determine if other sources of flood mitigation financing are available?

Information from a submitted abridged application will be shared with the Flood Information Clearinghouse Committee (FLICC), a new cooperative effort between the TWDB, General Land Office, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and other state and federal agencies that administer flood mitigation financial assistance programs. After review by the FLICC, the applicant may be advised of other available source(s) of funding.

7. Where can I get more information?

In order to provide you with a single point of contact at the TWDB, our project implementation staff is organized into seven regional project implementation teams. Each team is led by a manager that serves as the primary point of contact for both our existing and future customers. For assistance with the application or any questions related to your project, please look up contact information for your Regional Team.

Special Requirements

How to Apply

Visit the FIF Application and Pre-Application Webinars page for information on how to apply to the program.

Schedule

  • March 16, 2020 - Abridged application period begins
  • June 15, 2020 - Abridged applications due
  • September 17, 2020 - Board adopted final Flood IUP and approved of the prioritization list
  • September 18, 2020 - Letters of Intent to Apply are distributed to all within funding availability as well as those below the line to form a waiting list should funds become available
  • September 30, 2020 – Intent to apply forms due
  • October 19, 2020 - Complete applications due from invited applicants
  • Fall 2020 to Winter 2020 - Financial assistance commitments begin
  • Winter 2020 to Spring 2021 - Borrower closings/execution of grant agreements begin (six-month commitment expiration period)

Resources

U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) Data

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Information

Flood-Related Federal Funding Transparency Report

TWDB FIF-related Guidance Manuals

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