NC opens homeowner application period for ReBuild NC storm recovery program

Raleigh, NCGovernor Roy Cooper has announced the opening of a new application period for homeowners who need assistance with home repairs due to damage from Hurricanes Florence and/or Matthew. ReBuild NC, a program of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR), established the Homeowner Recovery Program to help homeowners repair, reconstruct or elevate homes damaged by the storms. The program is part of a comprehensive plan to distribute federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CBDG-DR) funds within North Carolina’s hardest hit communities.  

“The damaging impacts of Hurricanes Florence and Matthew can still be seen in many North Carolina communities today,” said Gov. Cooper. “The Homeowner Recovery Program can help homeowners rebuild smarter and stronger to make them more resilient against future storms.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took 500 days after Hurricane Florence made landfall to issue the Federal Register Notice specifying requirements for using $542 million in CBDG-DR funds appropriated to North Carolina by Congress. Because of NCORR’s advance strategic work, North Carolina had an action plan ready within 24 hours of the Federal Register Notice publication, outlining how the state proposes to use the recovery funding. In April, North Carolina became the first among states with 2018 disaster grants to receive approval from HUD on its plan.

The beginning of the homeowner application period for Hurricane Florence assistance and re-opening the application period for Hurricane Matthew assistance reflects the work NCORR has done to streamline the program, adjust to changing circumstances in impacted counties, and increase flexibility within the program to maximize the number of eligible applicants. Homeowners who have already applied to ReBuild NC do not need to reapply.

Homeowners may be eligible for assistance if they owned and occupied a home during the time of these disasters. If homeowners have received assistance from other sources, they may still be eligible for help through the Homeowner Recovery Program.

In order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic, ReBuild NC has developed an online application and redesigned its website to include additional resources for homeowners. People interested in applying to the program should visit ReBuild.NC.Gov. More information is also available by calling 833-ASK-RBNC.

Governor Cooper established NCORR in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence to streamline disaster recovery programs statewide and help communities rebuild smarter and stronger. The office, which is a part of the Department of Public Safety, administers programs that support disaster recovery and resiliency. Through its ReBuild NC program, NCORR has committed $185.4 million in Hurricane Matthew recovery funds to help storm survivors. To date, North Carolina has provided more than $3.5 billion in state and federal funding for Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence recovery. 

Southeastern NC Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

Pender County, as well as Brunswick, Onlsow and New Hanover Counties, is updating the Southeastern Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The goal of this update to the regional plan is to increase resiliency in southeastern North Carolina by providing collaborative planning action to mitigate the impacts of hazardous events. For every $1 invested in disaster mitigation, $6 is saved by the public. This update is an ongoing process that likely won’t be completed until 2021. In the meantime, you can help provide input for this plan by filling out a survey at this link: https://s.surveyplanet.com/HOFD76fsq

FLOOD PREPAREDNESS

What is the National Flood Insurance Program?   

The National Flood Insurance Program was created by congress in 1968 to reduce the loss of life and property, and the rising disaster relief costs caused by flooding. The program was designed to achieve these goals by: 1) requiring that new and future substantially improved buildings be constructed to resist flood damages; 2) guiding future development away from flood hazard areas; and 3) transferring the costs of flood losses from the American taxpayers to floodplain property owners through flood insurance premiums. In recent decades, over 80 percent of disaster losses nationwide have been caused by floods.

The NFIP is a voluntary program based on a mutual agreement between the federal government and the local community. Federally-backed flood insurance coverage is available to any property owner in return for mitigation of flood risks by community regulation of floodplain development. Flood insurance, and most types of federal financial assistance, such as mortgage loans and grants, are only available in those communities that adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance that meets or exceeds the minimum NFIP standards. These same standards must also be adhered to by all federal agencies under a Presidential Floodplain Management Executive Order.

Flood Maps

Pender County is a generally flat county and consequently has experienced flooding on the coast and inland waterways.  To view the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) that have been issued for Pender County click on this link: http://gis.pendercountync.gov/maps/.  For western Pender County (roughly west of Highway 421), these maps were adopted in 2019. The rest of the County is still awaiting approval to adopt updated flood maps, and until new maps are adopted, the maps in effect were adopted in 2007. These maps are used to determine the flood risk for Pender County. Additionally, floodplain data is provided in digital format to be viewed and downloaded from the NC Floodplain Mapping Program (NCFMP)’s web site at  https://fris.nc.gov/fris/Home.aspx . Preliminary floodplain maps for the new FIRM are available but have not been adopted. Directions on how to access the Preliminary Maps.

To review the local floodplain ordinance click on this link: Pender County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.

GRANTS 

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages. Currently, FEMA administers the following HMA grant programs:

The HMA grant programs provide funding opportunities for pre- and post-disaster mitigation. FEMA’s HMA grants are provided to eligible Applicants  that, in turn, provide sub grants to local governments and communities.

Flood Information Links

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