For the past several years I have been trying to put together a grant program to seek the use of federal disaster preparedness funds to elevate homes. The problem has been that the timing of these grant programs do not match up very well to homeowner’s plans for improving their homes. Overall, we need a better solution. Below is a suggestion, for what it’s worth.
The state has many agencies responsible for home financing, disaster relief and economic development. What is needed is for the state, within these entities, to create a pool of funds that can be open on a continuing basis to provide low interest loans for making disaster preparedness improvements to homes and commercial structures. Information on these programs can be disseminated through town halls, banks, insurance companies and even building renovation companies. If the loans can be structured in a manner that results in a repayment plan that provides real savings over the costs of flood insurance, then we will truly have provided an incentive to flood proof properties.