Authority & Requirements
Community Assistance Program – State Support Services Element (CAP-SSSE) helps states proactively identify, prevent and resolve floodplain management issues in participating communities before a flood event even occurs.
The program derives its authority from the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and from the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) Parts 59 and 60.
The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 prohibits the Director from providing flood insurance in a community unless that community adopts and enforces floodplain management measures that meet or exceed minimum criteria in 44 CFR Part 60.3. These floodplain management measures can take the form of floodplain management ordinances, building codes or zoning provisions.
FEMA Regional Offices and the designated state agency negotiate a CAP-SSSE Agreement that specifies activities and products to be completed by a state in return for CAP-SSSE funds. There is a 25 percent non-federal match for all states receiving CAP-SSSE funds.
The CAP-SSSE program goals detailed below align directly to the national Floodplain Management Program multi-year plan. These goals provide the framework for guiding the activities of the FEMA Regions and state NFIP coordinating offices as they work to meet the vision of the NFIP and the goals of the FEMA Strategic Plan to instill equity as a foundation of emergency management, lead whole of community in climate resilience, and promote and sustain a ready FEMA and a prepared nation.
Annually in collaboration with FEMA, states are expected to develop and meet performance commitments for funded activities and community outcomes that align to the achievement of the CAP-SSSE program goals.
Goal 1: Grow local capacity and capability to improve resiliency through floodplain management
States shall leverage engagements and relationships with communities to build their capability and capacity to manage flood risk by adopting and enforcing the minimum standards of the NFIP. States should encourage participation in the NFIP and ensure that communities are maintaining or improving their compliance with the program.
Goal 2: Build state floodplain management capability and promote strong state inter-agency coordination and collaboration
State NFIP Coordinating offices should invest in growing their own technical expertise and capacity and position the office to better serve as the central coordination point for bringing the entire state’s capabilities and resources together to advance floodplain management and mitigation.
Goal 3: Promote the benefits and drive demand for strong floodplain management development standards and insurance
States shall ensure they are employing opportunities to most effectively educate communities and the public on the value (e.g., economic, environmental, social benefits) of higher standards and insurance coverage.
Since 2017, CAP-SSSE has implemented a series of transformative program changes to better incentivize and invest in state capability growth. States are expected to adhere to new guidance and business processes set forth by the CAP-SSSE transformation, including:
- CAP-SSSE Tiered State Framework (TSF): The TSF defines the characteristics of foundational, proficient, and advanced state floodplain management programs and sets forth a process by which states are assessed and aligned to a tier which subsequently guides the work activities and performance expectations for the grant period of performance. Beginning in FY20, States are now required to complete the TSF assessment every three years and collaborate with the FEMA Regions to establish annual performance commitments that will be monitored on a quarterly basis primarily through Community Information System (CIS) reporting.
- CAP-SSSE Funding Methodology and Tools: The new CAP-SSSE funding methodology establishes a transparent and performance-based set of funding factors for State NFIP Coordinating Offices. Proposed beginning in FY22 the amount of funding made available to each state will be based on multiple factors to characterize its relative risk, the number of flood prone jurisdictions it must serve, its TSF tier, and the FEMA Region’s discretionary priorities. States must propose work activities and other allowable costs under the NOFO to demonstrate their plan to effectively utilize their available funding. To support this assessment, states use and submit the State Activity Planning & Pricing Tool which standardizes Statements of Work (SOWs), Budget Details, and the regional review process.
Substantial Damage Compliance
States will be expected to ensure community compliance with substantial damage provisions of floodplain management regulations.
State Development Compliance
States will continue to support efforts to document and improve compliance with the NFIP regulations for new and existing state-owned and managed property in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
NFIP Compliance Audit Redesign
FEMA is currently redesigning the Community Assistance Visit (CAV) and Community Assistance Contact (CAC) processes into the new NFIP Compliance Audit process. States will be expected to attend webinars and other events to increase their understanding of the new process and provide input into the design of an initial pilot project. States may also be requested to participate in the Compliance Audit Process pilot project.
FEMA’s Floodplain Management program monitors performance through four program measures to which state NFIP Coordinating Offices are required to contribute in addition to any other annual performance commitments they have agreed upon with the FEMA Regional office. These include:
- Map Adoption. States must meet the national metric of at least 93% map adoptions for those participating communities that receive Letters of Final Determination (LFDs) in their state. Each Regional office may set higher targets for map adoption.
- Community Engagement. States must have contact with a designated percentage of the participating communities in their State by Community Assistance Visits (CAVs), Community Assistance Contacts (CACs), General Technical Assistance (GTA), Regulation Assistance, or Workshops. States and the FEMA Regional CAP Coordinator will negotiate “Expected” and “Excellence” targets for the percentage of communities that will be engaged during the Period of Performance (POP). These targets will be documented in the Statement of Work (SOW).
- Higher Standards Adoption. States must commit to a designated number of communities where, through various types of engagements, they will ensure the community adopts higher standards for floodplain management than what is minimally required by the NFIP. States and the FEMA Regional CAP Coordinator will negotiate “Expected” and “Excellence” targets for the number of communities adopting a higher standard during the POP. These targets will be documented in the Statement of Work (SOW).
- Community Compliance Improvement. States must commit to a designated number of communities in which they will conduct new and close existing community assistance contacts and visits (CACs and CAVs). This target will directly support the Regional and National goal to assess a certain percentage of the entire NFIP every five years. States and the FEMA Regional CAP Coordinator will negotiate “Expected” and “Excellence” targets for the number of CAVs and CACs that will be conducted and closed during the POP. These targets will be documented in the Statement of Work (SOW).
- Additionally, in order to promote CAP-SSSE transformation success, the states will support all transformation activities and attend at least two CAP Transformation engagement activities: the annual Hazard Mitigation (HM) Workshop, State Coordinators Session at Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Conference, or national CAP-SSSE webinars held by FEMA.