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Notice of Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grants

Release Date:
August 9, 2021

FEMA provides federal funds for the Building Resilient Infrastructures and Communities (BRIC) grant program to states, local communities, tribes and territories for mitigation activities. BRIC is a FEMA annual hazard mitigation program. Section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) authorizes this program. The priorities are to:

  • Incentivize natural hazard risk reduction activities that mitigate risk to public infrastructure
  • Prioritize benefits to disadvantaged communities
  • Mitigate risk to one or more community lifelines
  • Incorporate nature-based solutions
  • Enhance climate resilience and adaptation
  • Increase funding to applicants that facilitate the adoption and enforcement of the latest published editions of building codes

The Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) BRIC Notice of Funding Opportunity can be accessed at Grants.gov. Before applying for the grant, FEMA encourages reviewing the detailed program information and other grant application and administration requirements.

Changes for the Fiscal Year 2021

Changes for the Fiscal Year 2021 BRIC program include:

  • Increases the state/territory allocation subtotal by an additional $400,000to $1 million, which includes an increase to the mitigation planning and planning-related activities per applicant to $500,000
  • Increases tribal set-aside to $25 million. The combined cost of an applicant’s capability- and capacity-building activities increased to $1 million. Any funds that are not awarded from the Tribal Set-Aside will be re-allocated to the non-financial Direct Technical Assistance for tribes
  • Continues to incentivize the adoption of building codes based on the latest published editions of building codes
  • Includes a new priority to enhance climate resilience and adaptation
  • Includes a new priority to prioritize benefits to incentivize natural hazard risk reduction activities that mitigate risk to public infrastructure and includes disadvantaged communities as defined in Executive Order 14008 – Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
  • Revises the title of a “Small Impoverished Community” to “Economically Disadvantaged Rural Communities”1
  • Prioritizes assistance that benefits disadvantaged communities as referenced in Executive Order 14008 - Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, in line with the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative to promote equity
  • Revises the population impacted, outreach activities, and leveraging partners qualitative criteria to emphasize equity considerations through further assessment of vulnerable communities, a broadened range of stakeholder input and more varied partnerships
  • Doubles the number of communities to which FEMA is offering non-financial Direct Technical Assistance, from 10 to 20, to help build capability and capacity at the local level and includes disadvantaged communities
  • Partially implements the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard in other eligibility criteria as referenced in Executive Order 14030 – Climate-Related Financial Risk

Available Funding for Fiscal Year 2021

FEMA will distribute up to $1 billion through the BRIC grant program in the following manner:

  • State/Territory Allocation: $56 million (up to $1 million per applicant). All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories may apply under the State/Territory Allocation.
  • Tribal Set-Aside: $25 million. All federally recognized Tribal Governments may apply under the Tribal Set-Aside.
  • National Competition for Mitigation Projects: $919,000,000 (estimated). Any funds that are not awarded from the State/Territory Allocation will be re-allocated to the national competition. Any funds that are not awarded from the Tribal Set-Aside will be re-allocated to the non-financial Direct Technical Assistance for tribes.

Funding Caps

The funding caps (federal share) for the BRIC program are as follows:

  • State/Territory Maximum Allocation and Activity Caps: $1 million
    • Up to $500,000 may be used for mitigation planning and planning-related activities per applicant
  • Tribal Set-Aside Activity Caps: The combined cost of the applicant’s capability- and- capacity building activities under the Tribal Set-Aside must not exceed $ 1 million per applicant.
  • National Competition Cap: $50 million per subapplication. An unlimited number of subapplications can be submitted to the National Competition by an applicant.

Cost Share

A cost share is required for all subapplications funded for the Building Resilient and Infrastructure Communities program. The non-federal cost share may consist of cash, donated or third-party in-kind services, materials, or any combination thereof. FEMA will provide 100% federal funding for management costs. The cost share information includes:

  • Generally, the cost share for this program is 75% federal/25% non-federal.
  • Economically disadvantaged rural communities 1 are eligible for an increase in cost share up to 90% federal/10% non-federal.
  • For insular areas, including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, FEMA automatically waives the non-federal cost share for the Recipient when the non-federal cost share for the entire award is under $200,000. The recipient may request the waiver in its application.

Application and Funding Deadlines

To apply for funding made available for Fiscal Year 2021 through, applicants must adhere to the following application and funding deadlines:

Application Opening: Sept. 30, 2021

  • Eligible applicants must apply for funding using the FEMA Grants Outcome (FEMA GO), which is the management system for BRIC. The development of FEMA GO was a multi-year effort to modernize and transform the way FEMA conducts grants management. FEMA GO will streamline the process to apply for, track, and manage FEMA grants.
  • To apply, please visit https://go.fema.gov/.

Application Deadline: Jan. 28, 2022 (3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)

New system-related issues must be addressed by Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 (3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time). applicants experiencing technical problems outside of their control must notify FEMA by this deadline.

Please note that FEMA deadlines listed refer to application deadlines for the applicants. Subapplicants should consult with their applicant agency to confirm subapplication deadlines to the applicant.

Pre-Award Selection Notice: anticipated to be Summer 2022

Period of Performance (POP):

  • Start Date: Date of the Recipient’s federal Award
  • End Date: 36 months from start date on Recipient’s federal award

Any subsequent amendments to the federal award will not extend the POP unless explicitly stated.

The subapplicants may submit a request for a longer POP in the subpplication for FEMA to review and approve.

Eligibility Information

  • To be eligible for BRIC funding, FEMA will require the applicants and subapplicants listed below to have a current FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan at time of application and award. Further, Section 203 of the Stafford Act requires the applicant meet the following criteria:
  • Eligible applicants include all 50 states, U.S. territories, federally recognized Tribal Governments, and District of Columbia.
  • Eligible subapplicants include Local Governments, Tribal Governments, State Agencies, and Tribal Agencies.
  • State or territory: Must have received a major disaster declaration under the Stafford Act in the seven years prior to the annual grant application period start date.
  • Federally recognized tribe: Must have received a major disaster declaration under the Stafford Act in the seven years prior to the annual grant application period start date or be entirely or partially located in a state that received a major disaster declaration in the seven years prior to the annual grant application period start date. A Federally recognized tribe is eligible to apply for a grant either as an applicant or subapplicant. If a tribe requests to apply through the state, the state must meet the “seven year” declaration criteria.
  • FEMA must apply this seven-year requirement for each BRIC grant cycle. All states, federally recognized tribes, and territories satisfy these criteria for the Fiscal Year 2021 BRIC grant cycle.

FEMA will fund the following uses of assistance through the BRIC program:

  • Capability- and Capacity-Building Activities (C&CB) can be submitted under the State/Territory Allocation and Tribal Set-Aside. These are activities that enhance the knowledge, skills, and expertise of the current workforce to expand or improve the administration of mitigation assistance. There are four types of C&CB activities:
    • Building Codes
    • Partnerships
    • Project Scoping
    • Mitigation Planning and Planning-Related Activities
  • Mitigation Projects can be submitted under the State/Territory Allocation, Tribal Set-Aside, and the national competition. Mitigation projects are cost-effective projects designed to increase resilience and public safety; reduce injuries and loss of life; and reduce damage and destruction to property, critical services, facilities, and infrastructure from natural hazards.
  • Management Costs can be submitted under the State/Territory Allocation, Tribal Set-Aside, and national competition. Management costs allow FEMA to provide financial assistance to reimburse the recipient and subrecipient for eligible and reasonable indirect costs, direct administrative costs, and other administrative expenses associated with a specific mitigation project or C&CB activity. Subapplicants may submit up to 5% of the total budget of the C&CB activity or mitigation project for subapplicant management costs. Applicants may submit up to 10% of the application budget inclusive of subapplicant management costs for applicants to administer and manage award and subaward activities. The subapplicant management costs (up to 5%) must be added to the subapplication total budget prior to the calculation of the applicant management costs (up to 10%).

FEMA will provide the following assistance through BRIC:

  • Non-Financial Direct Technical Assistance to communities to build a community’s capacity and capability to improve its resiliency to natural hazards and to ensure stakeholders are capable of building and sustaining successful mitigation programs, submitting high-quality applications, and implementing new and innovative projects that reduce risk from a wide range of natural hazards.

Other Eligibility Criteria

FEMA is partially implementing the Federal Flood Risk Management Standards (Executive Order 14030 – Climate-Related Financial Risks)

  • For certain non-critical actions involving structure elevation, dry floodproofing, and mitigation reconstruction in the Special Flood Hazard Area a minimum of the base flood elevation plus 2 feet of freeboard will be required (unless doing so would cause the project to be unable to meet applicable program cost-effectiveness requirements).
  • If a state, local, tribal, territorial government, or federal agency has adopted a higher standard applicable to the specific project, FEMA will require the higher standard as the design flood elevation under the American Society of Civil Engineers 24-14 (ASCE 24-14).

For additional information on eligibility, view the full FY21 BRIC NOFO, accessible at www.Grants.gov.

Additional Resources

For general questions about the BRIC program can be directed to the appropriate State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO) or FEMA Regional Office on FEMA.gov. The HMA Helpline is available by telephone at (866) 222-3580.

The FEMA Mitigation Action Portfolio includes examples of innovative mitigation projects that address many types of natural hazards and emphasize the importance of collaboration between governments, private sector entities, and non-governmental organizations in order to achieve effective hazard mitigation and disaster resilience. The following FEMA resources are specific to the grant application for Fiscal Year 2021.

  • BRIC Building Codes Activities Program Support Material
  • BRIC Partnership Activities Program Support Material
  • BRIC Project Scoping Activities Program Support Material
  • BRIC Mitigation Planning Activities Program Support Material
  • BRIC Direct Technical Assistance Program Support Material
  • BRIC Technical Criteria Program Support Material
  • BRIC Qualitative Criteria Program Support Material
  • BRIC Tribal Information Program Support Material
  • BRIC Phased Projects Program Support Material

11An economically disadvantaged rural community is a community of 3,000 or fewer individuals identified by the applicant that is economically disadvantaged, with residents having an average per capita annual income not exceeding 80% of the national per capita income, based on best available data.

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Last updated August 9, 2021