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 ways to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to structures that are insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Texas Water Development Board administers the FMA grant program for the State of Texas on behalf of FEMA.

Goals of the FMA program include reducing or eliminating:

  • repeated claims under the NFIP, and
  • the dependence on taxpayer-funded federal disaster assistance for disaster recovery.

The FMA program funds are allocated to political subdivisions (Cities, Counties, Special Districts, etc.). Homeowners cannot apply directly to the TWDB or FEMA for an FMA grant. Homeowners may contact their local floodplain administrator, or other local officials to find out about their community's interest in applying for an FMA grant.

The FMA program is a nationally competitive grant program with limited funds each year. Generally, the political subdivision will develop an application (referred to as a subapplication) on behalf of homeowners and submit it to the TWDB. FEMA chooses the subapplications to fund based on specific criteria including the eligibility of the proposed project for program funds that year, the cost-effectiveness of the proposed project, and the most effective use of grant funds. Projects and plans that offer the best savings to the NFIP over time will be the most successful.

More specific information on the details of the FMA funding cycle can be found in FEMA's FMA Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). NOFOs are published for each grant cycle, approximately 60 days before the application start date. The FMA NOFO may also be found on grants.gov. More detailed and technical information on the FMA grant program is in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance and its addendum.

If you are interested in a list of active flood related grant funds in use by Texas agencies please check out Flood related activity - SFY2020 Q3.

If you are a local government or entity representative and are looking for more information on available flood mitigation funding opportunities for your community, please check out Flood Information Clearinghouse.

If you are a homeowner or renter and are seeking flood-related assistance for yourself or your family, please visit Disaster Assistance.

Ike damaged homeThe Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant application period for FY2020 has not yet opened, but is anticipated to do so around late September or early October 2020.This page will be updated with more information specific to the FY20 FMA grant cycle closer to the application start date.

Eligible Activities

The FMA grant program funds two main categories of activities: planning and project grants

  • 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.

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.

Application Process

Subapplicant communities develop subapplications on behalf of homeowners. The communities then submit their subapplications to the TWDB. In turn, the TWDB reviews these subapplications for eligibility and includes eligible ones in the State application, which is sent to FEMA for consideration.

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.

Get Ahead for the FY20 FMA Grant Cycle

The TWDB recommends communities begin gathering the documents and information required for subapplications as early as possible. A list of items and documents required and recommended for project subapplications:

Please note that FEMA is currently phasing in a new platform (FEMA Grant Outcomes, or FEMA GO) to manage its grant programs, which includes replacing the FMA eGrants system. The TWDB does not anticipate a major change in FEMA’s documentation requirements for a complete FMA subapplication in FEMA GO. Please do not delay gathering the necessary documentation for a subapplication pending the release of FEMA GO.

Updates on how this platform may affect the FMA subapplication process will be posted to this page as information becomes available.

Subapplicant Eligibility

Eligible subapplicants:

  • are political subdivisions that 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, and which must maintain such coverage through completion of the mitigation activity and for the life of the structure.

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 involved.

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.

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 SRL properties. FEMA may contribute up to 90 percent federal cost share for 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 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 parkIn recent funding cycles, FEMA has offer Community Flood Mitigation Advance Assistance for project development purposed. The available funding varies by year. Please review the current NOFO 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 application period for FY20 is projected to open. However, the TWDB recommends that communities begin gathering the information required for their subapplication as early as possible. The TWDB will accept applications during the "Request for Application" time frame, which for FY20 is anticipated to be from the end of September to mid-November. This application period information will be updated when FEMA releases information on the topic.

Questions about the FMA program and the application process should be directed to floodgrant@twdb.texas.gov