ALEXANDRIA, VA – Federal financial assistance could soon be on its way to the flood-prone Waterfront area of Old Town.
“The City is committed to pursuing Federal funding to be used towards construction of projects that protect against flood damage,” said Yon Lambert, Interim Deputy City Manager and Director, Department of Transportation & Environmental Services. “Grant funding has already been awarded to the City for multiple stormwater capacity projects, including protection against flooding along our historic waterfront.”
FEMA recently announced it will soon begin accepting applications for a new resilience program, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to make communities safer from natural hazards.
This grant also means that residents and businesses along the water-prone area could receive help.
“This new funding source will provide for the issuance of low interest rate loans to help reduce the fiscal impacts to the City’s residents and businesses. City staff will be working with the Youngkin administration and State agencies to ensure that communities like ours can access this funding,” concluded Lambert. [Click here to see video footage from Spring 2022 flooding at Waterfront.]
Beginning Feb. 1, FEMA will accept applications for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant program that aims to foster greater community resilience and reduce disaster vulnerability and suffering. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $500 million in the Safeguarding Tomorrow RLF program over five years.
For the first year of the program, FEMA will make $50 million available in capitalization grants to eligible states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, to fund low-interest loans. Fifteen Tribal Nations that received a major disaster declaration between Jan. 1, 2016, and Jan, 1, 2021, are also eligible for this first round of funding.
“FEMA remains committed to finding innovative approaches to help communities build resilience in the face of intensifying weather events driven by climate change,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “The low-interest loans provided by the STORM program will help eligible states and tribes, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, finance disaster mitigation projects that will enhance their climate resiliency before disaster strikes.”
The Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund complements and strengthens FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant portfolio through which multiple grant programs support projects at the local government level to increase the nation’s resilience to natural hazards and climate change. Loans may be used to help local governments satisfy the non-federal cost share requirements of these grant programs, for which they are required to provide a cost-share of up to 25%.
Initial funding will focus on both increasing public understanding of the program and working with participating communities to learn how to enhance the program in future iterations.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance helps communities increase resilience to extreme heat waves, drought, wildfires, flood and hurricanes by funding transformational projects that reduce risk to multiple hazards, support adaptation to future conditions and lessen the impact of all disasters on our nation’s most underserved residents and disadvantaged communities.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also provides $6.8 billion in additional funding for FEMA to invest in community-wide mitigation to reduce disaster suffering and avoid future disaster costs in the face of more frequent and severe weather events.
In addition to this funding, President Biden has provided even more funding to FEMA’s annual resilience grant programs since taking office. In particular, the President more than doubled last year’s funding to approximately $3 billion for FY 22 grant applications for FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities and Flood Mitigation Assistance programs. Both programs also include significant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Safeguarding Tomorrow RLF funding notice is available at Grants.gov. Eligible entities must apply for funding using the Non-Disaster (ND) Grants Management System (ND Grants). Applications must be received by 3 p.m. Eastern Time, April. 28, 2023.