FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced today a new federal grant initiative that will help four states affected by Hurricane Ida, one of the most intense storms to hit the United States in recent years, become more resilient to flooding.
The new Swift Current initiative, made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, allocates a total of $60 million to Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to equitably expedite mitigation grants to disaster survivors with repetitively flooded homes. This is the first FEMA initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen national preparedness and resilience.
“The Swift Current initiative represents FEMA’s commitment to quickly and equitably getting hazard mitigation funding to the communities who need it the most,” said Administrator Criswell. “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law made this program possible, and we are excited to continue our work helping make our nation stronger, safer and more resilient from future disasters.”
Swift Current provides learning opportunities that will help FEMA prepare for a larger national rollout to substantially speed up the award of flood mitigation dollars to better align the program with the disaster survivor experience.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $3.5 billion in Flood Mitigation Assistance grants over five years. As part of the $3.5 billion, Swift Current will help communities reduce flood damage and comply with local community requirements. FEMA is providing more equitable access to mitigation grants through the Act by increasing cost shares above the standard 75% federal share to socially vulnerable communities that often face challenges meeting their non-federal match. Examples of eligible projects include property acquisition and demolition, elevation and relocation.
The four states were selected because they have the highest number of unmitigated severe repetitive loss and repetitive loss properties insured under the National Flood Insurance Program and total flood insurance claims within their respective FEMA regions.
The $60 million in Swift Current funding will be distributed as follows:
- Louisiana, $40 million.
- Mississippi, $5 million.
- New Jersey, $10 million.
- Pennsylvania, $5 million.
To be eligible, buildings must be insured through the National Flood Insurance Program for FEMA to consider them for this funding opportunity.
The initiative promotes equity in line with the administration’s Justice40 Initiative, as the Swift Current funding opportunity aims to prioritize help by providing at least 40% of the benefits to disadvantaged communities.
The application process for federal grants can be burdensome for socially vulnerable communities. FEMA reduced grant application complexities by developing pre-calculated benefits to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of eligible mitigation projects. This enables communities with limited access to resources to apply for these grants.
The federal cost share will range from 75-100%:
- FEMA is offering a higher federal cost share of 90% for buildings located in socially vulnerable communities. These communities often face challenges in meeting the non-federal cost-share match.
- The federal cost share for the Flood Mitigation Assistance program is 100% for Severe Repetitive Loss properties and 90% for Repetitive Loss properties.
The application period opens on April 1 and closes Oct. 3. The Notice of Funding Opportunity is available on Grants.gov.
All applications must be submitted in the Mitigation eGrants system, will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and must be submitted no later than noon Eastern Time on Oct. 3. Applications received by FEMA after this deadline will not be considered for funding. For more information, interested subapplicants in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania should contact their state’s hazard mitigation officer.