Authorized under Section 404 of the Stafford Act, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), now under the Department of Homeland Security, provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of each project. Total Federal funding under the current program is based on a sliding scale of the estimated grants for individual assistance programs and public assistance projects. States may choose to develop an Enhanced State Mitigation Plan in order to receive an increased amount of up to 20 percent for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding. Eligible applicants are State and local governments, Native American tribes, and certain non-profit organizations. Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however, a community may apply on behalf of homeowners and businesses. The following is a summary of key aspects of the Program roles of the States, local applicants, and FEMA:

State’s Role

  • Manage the overall program within the State.
  • Ensure that the FEMA Regional Director has approved the State Hazard Mitigation Plan and the State’s administrative plan for implementing the HMGP.
  • Establish funding priorities, and select projects for funding based on those priorities.
  • Solicit program interest and help potential applicants develop complete applications.
  • Establish deadlines for applications.
  • Provide applicants with technical assistance (mitigation techniques and/or HMGP policy).
  • Ensure that mitigation measures must be cost-effective, must benefit the disaster area, and must be consistent with the mitigation plans required under Section 322 of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.
  • Forward selected projects to FEMA for final eligibility review.
  • Act as grantee, receiving funds from FEMA and disbursing them to successful applicants.
  • Ensure that applicants and subgrantees adhere to all program and administrative requirements.
  • Perform grantee responsibilities of monitoring the progress of projects and submitting quarterly reports to FEMA indicating the status and completion date for each approved project.

Community Applicant/Subgrantee’s Role

  • Submit individual project applications to the State (if the proposed measure is selected as an approved project, the applicant becomes a subgrantee).
  • Coordinate with participating homeowners and businesses that will benefit from the grant to develop the application, and subsequently oversee distribution of grant funds to subrecipients or contractors.
  • Manage implementation of the approved project.
  • Comply with all HMGP requirements and applicable Federal, State and local laws and standards, including compliance with National Flood Insurance Program and the National Environmental Policy Act
  • Account for the appropriate use of grants to the State grantee.
  • Maintain records on the program and projects as required by law.

FEMA’s Role

  • Oversee and manage the HMGP.
  • Establish minimum criteria for project eligibility.
  • Advise the State of the estimated amount of available funding.
  • Assist the State in setting priorities for the use of HMGP funds in the aftermath of a disaster.
  • Review projects selected and submitted by the State for eligibility.
  • Prepare the environmental decision document based on information submitted by the applicant.
  • Provide technical assistance to States, applicants, and subgrantees in order to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the program.
  • Review State’s quarterly reports and follow up on issues as necessary.

For more information about the HMGP application and eligibility requirements, please refer to the implementing regulations at 44 CFR 206.430.