September 1, 2019: Pender County has received notification from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety that 25 properties have been selected for buyout through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program’s expedited acquisition project.
“Pender County is pleased to be able to assist our citizens through this long-term recovery process and looks forward to additional opportunities. These mitigation actions will help us meet our goal of becoming more resilient from future storm events” said Planning and Community Development Director Kyle Breuer.
The goal of the expedited acquisition project is to remove vulnerable properties from the Special Flood Hazard Area as quickly as possible. Each of the selected properties was severely impacted by Hurricane Florence. Upon completion of the buyout process, the deed for each property will be signed over to Pender County and land use will be restricted to the conservation of natural floodplain functions.
Pender County is still awaiting notification of more funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The State’s Hazard Mitigation Branch is currently reviewing applications that were submitted for acquisition, elevation and mitigation reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
** Please note, this is just the initial phase of funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Applications that were submitted by Pender County property owners who applied for funding but were not included in the expedited buyout process are still being reviewed by the State of North Carolina’s Hazard Mitigation Branch. As of now, there is no timeline for the announcement of additional funding.
August 7, 2019: Pender County is still awaiting notification from FEMA and the State of North Carolina regarding the status of the applications submitted for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Additionally, we do not have a timeline for when we will receive notification regarding the status of applications.
For residents that are in need of assistance or who have the ability to provide assistance, please contact the Pender Long Term Recovery Group at 910-377-1185. You can learn more about this organization by visiting their website at https://www.penderltrg.com/.
We also encourage those in need of assistance to add their name to the Pender County Request for Assistance List, which is administered through the Pender County Housing Department. Pender County anticipates receiving grant funds from state and federal sources, so the County is actively preparing a list of applicants to provide to state and federal partners when these grants become available. Please be aware that these grants are directed to low and moderate income households and are long-term programs that will not provide immediate assistance. The application can be found below: Request for Disaster Assistance Form
What is Substantial Damage?
Substantial damage applies to structures located within the Special Flood Hazard Area for which the cost of repairs is 50% or more of the structure’s pre-disaster market value. For example, if the structure’s pre-disaster value was $50,000 and after Hurricane Florence the cost to repair the house back to its pre-disaster condition is $35,000, then the structure is considered substantially damaged. Please note that substantial damage only applies to the value of the structure, not the entire property.
How Does Substantial Damage Affect You?
Pender County relies on data that were collected from FEMA damage assessment teams in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence to determine an estimated cost of repairs. Based on the FEMA assessments, if you own a structure that is substantially damaged and you want to make repairs to that structure, then the structure will need to come into compliance with the Pender County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. However, if you have an estimate from a licensed general contractor that states the cost of repairs will be less than 50% of the structure’s value and provide that information to the Pender County Floodplain Administrator, then you will not need to come into compliance with the Pender County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.
Please contact Daniel Adams, the Pender County Floodplain Administrator, with any questions at email@example.com or by calling 910-259-0231.
June 19, 2019: Pender County is still in a holding pattern as it awaits a response from FEMA and the State of North Carolina on which applications are approved for funding.
VERY IMPORTANT: HMGP applications were sent in March but not timetable has been given by the State. If the process follows a similar path that it did with Hurricane Matthew, notifications of accepted applications would be received in the mail at the end of June.
NEW: Website for local resources has been established called Pender Long Term Recovery Group (https://www.penderltrg.com/). The website is for those that need help and those that want to help.
Following a federally declared disaster such as Hurricane Florence local governments are eligible to apply for Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs (HMGP) that will reduce or eliminate the loses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem, for example elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damage as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project’s potential savings must be more then the cost of implementing the project. These activities may include elevating structures in the regulatory floodplain, acquiring (“buy-out”) property to prevent losses, or retrofitting structures to minimize future damages.
These activities have not been activated by FEMA or the State of North Carolina and therefore Pender County is unaware of any potential funding amounts or timing of HMGP funding. Projects such as these have taken years to receive funding and are not designed to provide immediate relief from the devastating effects of natural disasters. To be eligible to apply for HMGP, an applicant must be the homeowner and the damaged home must be their primary residence. Additionally the applicants home must be in the 100 year floodplain. Homes that are out of the floodplain or are in the 500 year designated areas are not eligible to apply.
Examples of mitigation projects that can be funded through HMGP include, but are not limited to:
- Acquisition: The acquisition or “buyout” of a home uses FEMA funds to purchase the structure and land from a willing homeowner. The homeowner is offered pre-disaster fair market value for their structure as determined by a certified appraiser, and the home is then demolished and the land is deeded to the local government with an open space restriction. The property must have clear title. The land must remain open in perpetuity to restore or conserve natural floodplain functions. Before the homeowner receives the funds from the selling of the home any Individual Assistance or Flood Insurance funds not used to repair the home will be deducted from the balance due to the owner as a duplication of benefit. Homeowners are strongly encouraged to keep any and all receipts for repairs they have made.
- Elevation: Elevating a home is the physical raising (elevation and foundation retrofit) of an existing structure to an elevation at the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) or higher if required by FEMA or the local ordinance. Pender County requires homes in the regulated floodplain to elevate 2 feet above the base flood elevation. The project pays for engineering to determine if the home is feasible to raise, then elevates and retrofits the foundation.
- Mitigation Reconstruction: Mitigation Reconstruction is the construction of an improved, code-compliant, elevated home on the same site where the existing home has been partially or completely demolished or destroyed. This option is available to those with existing homes that are not feasible for elevation due to deferred maintenance or storm damage to the foundation, flooring, or stabilizing walls of the home.
Benefit Cost Analysis: For these priority project types, the FEMA pre-calculated benefits are still in effect for properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area (i.e. “AE Zone.”) Note that properties may be aggregated in order to produce a cost effective result. North Carolina Department of Emergency Management (NCEM) will conduct benefit cost analysis to ensure maximization of eligible properties. Properties outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area (i.e. “X zone”) are being considered in this analysis; communities are encouraged to submit whether inside or outside of the SFHA and NCEM Staff will conduct Benefit Cost Analysis.
Who can apply
- Home has to be primary residence
- Preference is given to homes in the floodplain but all homes that have experienced flooding can apply
Criteria Used in Past HMGP (Matthew) in Selecting Applicants for grant funding
NCEM expedited criteria are:
- Homeowner was displaced in TSA (Transitional Sheltering Assistance) as of Feb 2017; and/or
- Homeowner is eligible for a FEMA Mobile Home Unit; and/or
- Homeowner reported to local officials or NCEM during intake they were displaced with family/friends; and/or
- Local government designated properties for expedited criteria based on local conditions and/or;
- Property was deemed substantially damaged by a local floodplain administrator and/or
- Property’s FEMA-Verified structural loss is greater than 50% of the Building Value (an NCEM criteria to determine any additional severely damaged structures)
- FEMA’s cost effectiveness criteria are:
- Property in 100-year floodplain that can be acquired and demolished for $276,000 or less; or
- Property in 100-year floodplain that can be elevated or reconstructed for $175,000 or less;
Pender County is creating a list of potential applicants when and if HMGP funding applications are made available. Applying is not a guarantee of being approved. If your home meets the above criteria and you would like to be added to Pender County’s list please complete the attached form (http://www.pendercountync.gov/pcd/documents-base/property-site-inventory-form) and take 4 photos of your home (front left, rear and right) and send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to the HMGP presentation October 16, 2018: http://www.pendercountync.gov/pcd/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/10/HMGP-10.16.18.pdf
Acquisition (“Buy-out”) Fact Sheet: http://www.pendercountync.gov/pcd/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/10/Acquisition-Fact-Sheet.pdf
Mitigation/Reconstruction Fact Sheet: http://www.pendercountync.gov/pcd/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/10/Reconstruction-Fact-Sheet.pdf
Understanding FEMA benefits and the duplication of benefits: http://www.pendercountync.gov/pcd/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/10/Duplication-of-Benefits-Guide.pdf
Homeowners affected by Florence who need help clearing disaster debris, tarping disaster damaged roofs, or cleaning up their disaster-damaged homes may call Crisis Cleanup at 800-451-1954 to be paired with voluntary agencies. All services are free.
Disaster Legal Services
Free legal services are available for low-income survivors of Hurricane Florence. For legal assistance, call the Disaster Legal Hotline at 833-242-3549.
Disaster Distress Helpline
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by Florence, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 any time day or night to speak with a trained crisis counselor. Or text TalkWithUs to 66746. For Spanish, text Hablanos to 66746.
Disaster Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers
Along with FEMA grants and SBA loans, farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for emergency loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). For more information, go online to fsa.usda.gov or visit the nearest FSA office.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
If you’re out of work or lost income due to Florence, you now have more time to apply for DUA,
which helps those who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits—such as farm laborers
and small business owners. To apply, call 866-795-8877. For more information, visit the state’s
Division of Employment Security. The deadline to apply has been extended to Oct. 31, 2018.
FEMA works closely with state, federal, faith-based and voluntary agency partners. Survivors who do not qualify for FEMA disaster assistance may call 2-1-1, the statewide information and referral service for basic unmet needs.
FEMA FAQ-Survivors with Losses from Both Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Matthew – https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2018/10/13/faq-survivors-losses-both-hurricane-florence-and-hurricane-matthew