FEMA HMGP DR-4082 and Launch of the Strengthen Alabama Homes Program
Updated on August 25, 2016

In this update, the FEMA HMGP DR-4082 grant applications that the Alabama Department of Insurance agreed to administer for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency a few years ago will be discussed as well as the much anticipated launch of the Strengthen Alabama Homes program.

At this time, the Department of Insurance has decided to no longer administer grant applications for the FEMA HMGP DR-4082 because we now have more immediate funding available for you and for all primary residences of Baldwin and Mobile Counties in Alabama. If you applied for the FEMA grant, your grant application is still pending with FEMA as they continue their review. The FEMA HMGP DR-4082 grant will now be administered by your county’s Emergency Management Agency office.

Recently, Alabama’s Legislature passed a bill authorizing funding for the Strengthen Alabama Homes grant program. The Strengthen Alabama Homes grant program is funded to provide grants to residents of Baldwin and Mobile Counties in Alabama for residential wind mitigation on existing homes. Funding for this program comes from the insurance industry in Alabama and is not funded from the state’s general budget nor is it tied to the federal funding programs. The Strengthen Alabama Homes program funding mentioned above is not affiliated with funding for the FEMA HMGP DR-4082 grant program or with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency or local agency offices.

The Strengthen Alabama Homes Program has arranged to offer you a grant to mitigate your home against wind damage. This money is a grant, not a loan; therefore, it does not have to be paid back. Please remember that according to your FEMA grant application agreement, if you begin mitigation work through this program, you will not be able to receive the FEMA HMGP DR-4082 grant money from FEMA, if that funding becomes available in the future. In most cases, the Strengthen Alabama Homes grant amount may be in excess of those offered by the FEMA HMGP DR-4082. The amount of this grant is up to $7500 depending on income. Additional funding may be available for you as well.

The mitigation standard adopted by the Strengthen Alabama Homes program is known as the FORTIFIED Standard developed by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. You may find out more about the IBHS FORTIFIED standard by visiting www.disastersafety.org.

There are a few requirements that must be met to receive the Strengthen Alabama Homes grant that are different from the requirements for a FEMA grant. The requirements for a Strengthen Alabama Homes grant are:

  1. The home must be a single family, detached primary residence located in Baldwin or Mobile County (This excludes condominiums and mobile homes).
  2. Must have wind insurance before the payment of the grant is issued.
  3. Must have flood insurance if you are located in a designated special flood hazard area.
  4. Amount of the grants are income based and are on a first-come, first-served basis and there is not an income cap on the grants. Proof of income will be required for application such as your last years’ tax return.
  5. The home must be in good repair.
  6. Must reach IBHS Bronze or Silver standard when mitigated.

You are encouraged to take advantage of the Strengthen Alabama Homes grant to mitigate your home. Receiving this grant is simple. All you have to do to get started is visit our new website at www.strengthenalabamahomes.com starting September 1, 2016, and apply.

Please note: **If you are an applicant of the FEMA HMGP DR-4082 program and have already submitted to us your IBHS Current Conditions Report (CCR) which you paid for, there is no additional cost to you to apply for a Strengthen Alabama Homes grant. Your CCR is required documentation under the FORTIFIED Program. You will receive a letter from us in the coming weeks instructing you how to apply for this grant. DO NOT USE THE ONLINE APPLICATION IF YOU’VE SUBMITTED AN IBHS CCR TO US FOR YOUR FEMA HMGP DR-4082 APPLICATION. The online application prompts you to choose an evaluator to begin the home wind evaluation process. If you apply online you will engage another evaluator to come and evaluate your home.

If you have not paid for or currently have a valid IBHS Current Conditions Report as an applicant of the HMGP DR-4082, feel free to apply for a Strengthen Alabama Homes grant through our online application available to you on September 1, 2016. The online application will prompt you to choose an evaluator from a list of evaluators that work in your area. You will be required to receive an evaluation before we commit grant funding. The evaluator will charge a small fee for this service. We do not set fees for this service. Please discuss this fee with your evaluator prior to an evaluation.

This grant program is not a reimbursement program. You are not required to pay up front for mitigation done on your home and wait for reimbursement as required by FEMA HMGP DR-4082 program. Once you apply and your home is evaluated, we will provide you a list of contractors trained to work on this program for you to choose from to work on your home. As soon as your home receives the IBHS Fortified designation, we will issue payment up to the grant amount stated in your award letter that you will receive before mitigation work begins on your home.

Homeowners that have mitigated their homes to the FORTIFIED Standard in Alabama will receive discounts on the wind portion of their homeowner’s insurance premium. Please discuss with your insurance agent premium savings that you can receive for obtaining a FORTIFIED designation on your home. Before you commit to our grant, you are encouraged to request a quote from your insurance agent showing your current homeowner’s premiums compared to premiums for your home once mitigated and see the savings you should expect. Once the wind mitigation work is completed on your home the Strengthen Alabama Homes program will check with your insurance company to make sure you receive the appropriate discounts.

All of us here want to personally thank you for your patience and understanding as we launch wind mitigation grant efforts in Alabama. We are looking forward to working with you to make your home more resilient through wind mitigation provided by grants from the Strengthen Alabama Homes Program.