FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance program is an annual competitive grant program that provides funding to states, local communities, tribes, and territories to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the NFIP.
For the FY 2021 FMA grant cycle, FEMA made $160 million available in funding to prioritize the mitigation of the most flood-prone buildings insured by the NFIP. On average, these flood insurance properties have had at least five or more claims. This is an historic amount in total project costs and a 34% increase over the last grant cycle, which demonstrates the need for flood mitigation investments nationwide. FEMA received grant applications from 25 states requesting more than three times the funding available during this grant cycle.
FEMA selected projects in 72 different communities across 19 states, with most of the funding – $93 million – going toward the elevation, acquisition, and mitigation reconstruction of repetitively flood-damaged buildings insured by the NFIP. As the number of natural disasters and severity of the impacts continues to increase, there is a need to help communities, families and businesses build climate resilience prior to the next event.
As of Q3, the number of repetitively flood-damaged buildings is approximately 28,000 and increasing every year. FEMA estimates it would take $500 million annually to mitigate these properties. With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), FEMA received $700 million over the next five years in Flood Mitigation Assistance funding. The IIJA also allows FEMA to increase the federal cost share from 75% to 90% for activities benefitting socially vulnerable areas, in addition to the 90-100% federal cost share already offered for repetitively flood-damaged buildings.
For the FY 2022 grant cycle, FEMA published a funding opportunity making $800 million available for future flood mitigation. The application period to apply for this funding opened on Sept. 30, 2022 and remains open until January 27, 2023.