FEMA Flood Mitigation Grant Assistance Program

Are you interested in obtaining grant funds to elevate, demolish/reconstruct, or sell your home that is below base flood elevation, at risk of flooding, or has flooded before with a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance claim?

If so, Monroe County is participating in a national grant program known as Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) to help with these costs.

  • Elevate
  • Demolish/Reconstruct
  • Sell

Manufactured homes are likely not feasible for elevation or mitigation reconstruction without demolition and, therefore, not eligible for elevation. Manufactured homes are eligible to apply for mitigation reconstruction with the complete demolition of the structure and are eligible for selling the structure and land.

The program cannot buy any properties that are condominiums or cooperatives or have common area maintenance requirements.

Monroe County is currently accepting applications for the fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023) FMA grant program. The application period will close around September 30, 2023.

For reference, the 2021 FMA NOFO Fact Sheet can provide those interested with an overview of the program.

Local Elevation Project Examples can be found here: https://firmkeys.org/keyswide-home-elevation-education-project/

If you are a contractor, engineer, or architect that has completed an elevation project in the Florida Keys, email Lalbachan-Mike@MonroeCounty-Fl.gov or call 305-453-8796 to add your project and references to the examples of local elevation projects.

  1. Mike Lalbachan


  2. Land Authority Key Largo Office

    Physical Address
    Murray Nelson Government Center
    102050 Overseas Highway
    Key Largo, FL 33037

Program Overview

The FMA program for individual home elevation, acquisition, and reconstruction can be administered throughout the County, including both incorporated and unincorporated areas.

The program is an annual Nationwide competitive grant program that provides funding to the County if approved by the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist private property owners in mitigating future flood loss. Funds can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Applicants must have flood insurance at the time of application and be willing to maintain flood insurance in perpetuity. Applicants must choose from three options: 

  • Elevating (lifting) your home, 
  • Selling to the County and returning the land to its natural state, or 
  • Demolishing your home and rebuilding an NFIP-compliant, insured structure. 

In Florida, the FMA Program is funded by FEMA and administered through a partnership with FDEM. FDEM has the authority and responsibility for developing and maintaining a State Hazard Mitigation Plan, reviewing FMA Program sub-applications (from the County), recommending technically feasible and cost-effective sub-applications to FEMA, and providing pass-thru funding for FEMA-approved and awarded project grants to eligible sub-applicants (again, the County). Monroe County is a sub-applicant for the FMA Program administered by FDEM on a yearly cycle.  If awarded, the County then contracts with the private property owners (applicants) to assist in funding the projects the property owners applied for in the grant cycle. 

The County’s objectives are:

  • reduce or eliminate repetitive flood damage to individual homes
  • work with homeowners throughout the County to develop applications to secure funding for elevations, acquisition, relocation, and reconstruction of homes.

A successful FMA project concludes with a new or retrofitted home that complies with all applicable codes replacing the damaged, below-base flood home.

Considerations for Homeowners

The FMA Program has many requirements and not all project costs are eligible. But the result can be a flood-resilient home.

Below are notable program requirements:

  • Participation in the application process and grant program is voluntary.
  • To reduce or eliminate risk to the NFIP-insured properties, individual flood mitigation projects prioritize the mitigation of Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) structures and Repetitive Loss (RL) structures over residential homes with no losses.  We will show you how to find out whether your home is classified as SRL or RL. Contacting FEMA to obtain historical information on the official flood losses for your property is essential. This information is important because if your structure is designated as a REPETITIVE LOSS (RL) or SEVERE REPETITIVE LOSS (SRL) property, you have a lower-cost share as far as matching money for the grant.
  • The program is a match program. TYPICALLY, the Federal Government provides 75 percent, and the homeowner is required to provide 25 percent of the funding. Properties designated as Repetitive Loss may receive up to a 90 percent federal match and properties designated as Severe Repetitive Loss may receive up to a 100 percent federal match. Homeowners will be required to sign a Fund Commitment Letter for the 25 percent or 10 percent match. 
  • The grant only provides funding for eligible project costs. All eligible project costs, such as materials, labor, permits, and design should be part of the project budget that the private property owner helps develop with county staff assistance. 
  • If you choose elevation, the home must be elevated above base flood level.
  • If you choose demolition/reconstruction, the square footage (SF) of the resulting structure shall be no more than 10 percent greater than that of the original structure. For example, if your existing structure was 1000 SF, then the new structure could be no more than 1,100 SF.
  • Flood insurance must be maintained for the life of the structure. Please note that once the home is elevated or rebuilt to flood requirements, the flood insurance cost is typically much less than a non-elevated home. 
  • Mitigation reconstruction is only permitted for structures outside of the regulatory floodway or Coastal High Hazard Area (Zone V) as identified by the existing best available flood hazard data.
  • Eligible mitigation reconstruction costs are limited to a $150,000 Federal share per property. Some eligible activities, such as administrative allowances and permitting fees, need not be included in the $150,000 maximum Federal share. The activities that are eligible as part of a Federal award in mitigation reconstruction are divided into three categories: consultation and project scoping, pre-construction activities, and construction activities.

For more information and details on eligible costs, refer to FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance Addendum or speak with a Monroe County representative.

Visual reference of Pre-Calculated Benefits

Structure Elevation Projects

Structure elevation activities generally involve physically raising an existing structure to an elevation at the BFE or higher if required by FEMA or local ordinance. Please provide the following information:

(A home elevation budget is required as part of the application. Please work with your contractor to complete the “Home Elevation Budget” when submitting your home elevation application)

(Mail Letter to FEMA Mapping and Insurance Exchange, 3601 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22304-6426 or email it to fema-fmix@fema.dhs.gov Please attach the result to your application submission)

Home Mitigation Reconstruction Projects

Mitigation reconstruction is the demolition of an existing structure with the construction of an improved, elevated building on the same site. Please provide the following information:

(A home mitigation reconstruction budget is required as part of the application. Please work with your contractor to complete the “Home Mitigation Reconstruction Budget” when submitting your home elevation application)

(Mail Letter to FEMA Mapping and Insurance Exchange, 3601 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22304-6426 or email it to fema-fmix@fema.dhs.gov. Please attach the result to your application submission)

Property Acquisition and Structure Demolition Projects

For property acquisition and structure demolition or relocation projects for the purpose of creating open space, applicants and sub-applicants must comply with Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 80 and this guidance. Participation in property acquisition and structure demolition or relocation projects by property owners is voluntary. Please provide the following information:

(Mail Letter to FEMA Mapping and Insurance Exchange, 3601 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22304-6426 or email it to fema-fmix@fema.dhs.gov. Please attach the result to your application submission)

Application Process

Individual property owners apply for funding through Monroe County. Monroe County is the applicant to the State of Florida. The County reviews all applications and after State review, they are submitted to FEMA for final approval. This is a competitive process and applicants could be required to submit multiple times. 

Please provide the following information for your specific project listed above to:

Mike Lalbachan, Mitigation Administrator
102050 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037

Or Lalbachan-Mike@monroecounty-fl.gov

Each application should include an Elevation Certificate, Flood Insurance Certificate, and photos of the four sides of the building. Additional documents may be requested to complete the application. 

What are the next steps?

  1. The FMA required documents will be reviewed by the County, State, and FEMA and awarded if it meets all required criteria.
  2. Work on the project may only begin in coordination with Monroe County after an approved grant agreement is awarded to the private property owner.  It is important that no construction happens prior to the award of the grant and the grant is made on a reimbursement basis. 

Additional Information