ORLANDO, Fla. – Broward County will receive a $5 million federal grant to strengthen two homeless shelters against wind damage and install back-up generators to help them better withstand storms.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) has approved $5,117,322 to retrofit the North Homeless Assistance Center in Pompano Beach and the Central Homeless Assistance Center located in Fort Lauderdale. The upgrades will include the replacement of exterior windows and doors, upgrading the roofs and installation of generators for each building.
In addition, wind protection will be installed on any other openings such as vents, louvers and exhaust fans. The project shall provide protection against 179 MPH winds or the wind speed protection and impact requirements of the effective Florida Building Code at the time permits are issued.
Funding for this HMGP project is authorized under Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Act, the 1988 law that governs FEMA’s disaster-related activities.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is an important source of federal disaster assistance. HMGP funds may become available following the president’s declaration of a major disaster, and help strengthen communities by improving buildings, facilities and infrastructure that people use every day. A 2018 report from the National Institute of Building Sciences found that one dollar spent on hazard mitigation will save more than six dollars of recovery and rebuilding costs.
Generally, HMGP may provide a state, tribe or territory with additional grants up to 15 percent of the total disaster grants awarded by FEMA for a federally-declared disaster. States such as Florida that meet higher mitigation planning criteria may qualify for a higher percentage.
Florida has a FEMA-approved Enhanced Mitigation Plan, making the state eligible for HMGP funding not to exceed 20 percent of the estimated total amount of money spent by FEMA on disaster grants in the Hurricane Irma disaster. From this amount, HMGP reimburses the state up to 75 percent of eligible costs for mitigation projects. The remaining amount comes from other sources such as state and local assets and a combination of cash and in-kind sources.