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FAQs

Q. What is the Housing Rehabilitation and Citizen Retention Grant?

A. The Housing Rehabilitation and Citizen Retention Grant is designed to help our state's flood-impacted communities assist their residents with recovering from the 2011 disaster. This grant provides $10 million to help communities assist homeowners with rehabilitating or replacing their flood-damaged homes. By doing so, communities are more likely to retain their residents. This grant is one of several disaster recovery initiatives included in state Senate Bill 2371, which went into effect November 14, 2011.

Q. Who is eligible to apply?

A. During the first application round, funding is available to the 10 jurisdictions that received an Individual Assistance designation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a result of the 2011 flood event. Those jurisdictions include: Spirit Lake Nation and Barnes, Benson, Burleigh, McHenry, Morton, Ramsey, Renville, Richland, and Ward Counties along with their respective incorporated cities. Funding will be made available to these 10 jurisdictions until September 30, 2012.

Q. Will a second application round be held?

A. If the allocated dollars are not expended after September 30, 2012, a second application round will be held; rules are pending.

Q. What types of projects may be eligible?

A. The grant provides eligible jurisdictions with the latitude to design projects specific to the homeowner needs of the respective communities. It's important to remember the grant is for rehabilitation or replacement of flood-damaged homes in order to retain homeowners in the community. Eligible projects include:

  • Brick and mortar projects (repair or replace flood-damaged homes)
  • Down payment and/or closing costs assistance
  • Community-sponsored or other innovative projects to rehabilitate or replace flood-damaged homes
Q. What projects are considered ineligible?

A. Types of projects that are not considered eligible are:

  • Flood control projects
  • Projects that are not sustainable, e.g., do not provide a long-term, permanent solution to home rehabilitation/citizen retention
  • Demolition of houses without a corresponding replacement plan
  • Home improvement beyond basic rehabilitation of flood damages
  • Rehabilitation or replacement of structures other than principal living space
Q. Where can I find criteria for the grant?

A. The December 29, 2011, Housing Rehabilitation and Citizen Retention Grant Supplemental Grant Guidance lists the criteria and proposal structure. The link can be found here.

Q. One criterion calls for vetting the project. What does that mean?

A. This criterion requires the county/tribe to discuss proposals with cities within the jurisdiction, and vice-versa, for cities to share their proposals with the county/tribe.

Q. How long does it take for a proposal to be reviewed?

A. NDDES Disaster Recovery staff will complete an initial review and provide guidance if additional information is needed. Proposals will be reviewed within 15 days of a completed application.

Q. How long do applicants have to spend the money?

A. Funding must be expended by June 30, 2013.

Q. Will administrative costs be allowed?

A. Applicants may include up to a 3 percent fee which will cover all administrative costs associated each approved grant.

Q. Can grant dollars be used for seasonal homes?

A. No, the intent of the grant is for it to be used for a homeowner's "principal" residence and not seasonal (weekend/vacation) homes.

Q .Can applicants reimburse residents for costs already incurred?

A. Yes, provided the residents have tracked the costs they have incurred and have not received reimbursement from another source, e.g., duplication of benefits.

Q. Can the funds be used for neighborhood ring dikes?

A. No, since this is not within the scope of housing rehabilitation or within the intent of the legislation. A ring dike would also be considered a flood protection measure and is not sustainable, two items that make this work ineligible.

Q. Can the grant be used for relocation costs, if the homeowner would like to relocate a home to higher ground?

A. Yes, if the relocation is a mitigation measure within the same jurisdictions. An environmental assessment may be required.

Q. If homes are demolished to make room for a levee system, are demolition costs eligible?

A. No, demolition would be a project-related cost. Also there are other programs for home acquisition to make room for a levee system, including Section 18 of Senate Bill 2371, which provided funding to the N.D. State Water Commission for floodway property acquisition and construction.

Q. Can grant dollars be used to build infrastructure for a community?

A. Yes, but infrastructure will need to support housing that is considered similar to what was lost in the flood.

Q. To avoid duplication of benefits, how can a jurisdiction find out whether a homeowner has received a flood insurance payment and/or an Individual Assistance grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)?

A. The jurisdiction may solicit the information from the property owners. In addition, the jurisdiction may also request information from FEMA.

When requesting data for Individual Assistance, send the request to:

Thomas Carroll
Recovery Division Director, acting
Disaster Recovery Manager FEMA-1981-DR-ND
P.O. Box 25267
Denver, CO 80225-0267

Re: Privacy Act Request for FEMA Individual Assistance Files

Request the following information relating to applications for disaster assistance that FEMA received within the State of North Dakota for Individual Assitance to homeowners for FEMA-DR-1981-ND:

  • Applicant Name
  • Applicant Damaged Address & Current Mailing Address
  • Applicant current phone number
  • Applicant email address if available
  • FEMA verified loss
  • FEMA assistance amount awarded for home repair or replacement
  • Insurance type
For information from the National Flood Insurance Program, it's optimal to obtain the desired information from the policy holder. However, if unable to do so, due to Privacy Act any request to FEMA to provide the information will also need to include specific reasons why the information is needed, e.g., avoidance of duplication of benefits when administering the Housing Rehabilitation and Citizen Retention grant. Be sure to specify the following data is needed:

Policyholder:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Dollar Amount of Coverage
Claims Information:

  • Name
  • Insured Address
  • Claims Payment Information
Q. What are the income limits for the program?

A. We are allowing applicants the latitude to define income threshold levels, provided they take into account Article 10, Section 18, of the North Dakota Constitution, which states the following:

The state, any county or city may make internal improvements and may engage in any industry, enterprise or business, not prohibited by Article XX of the Constitution, but neither the state nor any political subdivision thereof shall otherwise loan or give its credit or make donations to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation except for reasonable support of the poor, nor subscribe to or become the owner of capital stock in any association or corporation.

An option to consider is the 2012 Income Limits outlined in the Community Development Block Grants, which is available on the N.D. Department of Commerce website:

www.communityservices.nd.gov/uploads/resources/825/sfn-52857-2012-income-limits.pdf

Q. May an applicant repair septic if the goal is to retain residents?

A. If it is a long-term solution and retains residents, it is a viable proposal.

Q. Can this grant be used for multi-family complexes?

A. No, the grant is for single-family homeownership. The Housing Incentive Fund, http://www.ndhfa.org/Web_Images/hif_faq3.pdf, may be an option. The HIF, available through the N.D. Housing Finance Agency, provides funding for mixed-income multi-family projects with an emphasis on affordable rents for low and moderate income households. The Bank of North Dakota also administers the Business Disaster Relief Loan Program, which could help with renovation of disaster damaged multi-family housing complexes. The BND program expires on June 30, 2012.

http://banknd.nd.gov/lending_services/pdfs/businessdisasterreliefloanprogram.pdf.

Q. What is duplication of benefits?

A. Duplication of benefits occurs when multiple funding sources are provided for the same purpose. The Housing Rehabilitation and Citizen Retention Grant (HRCRG) does not allow duplication of benefits for home repair or home replacement.

For example, if house repairs are $36,000, and the individual received $32,000 from flood insurance, then $4,000 is used as a basis for calculating HRCRG benefits, provided that amount has not been submitted, or paid for, by another program.


Q. What is our team's responsibility to ensure against duplication of benefits?

A. It is important that you determine if the applicant received other sources of funding for home repair or home replacement before making an HRCRG award.

Work with your team to develop an application that asks potential recipients to designate the assistance they have already received for home repair or home replacement. It's important to reconcile against records from other assistance programs.


Q. What forms of assistance should be considered when determining duplication of benefits?

A. Evaluate all forms of federal, state and local assistance that can be used for home repair or home replacement. It is your option to consider loans provided to flood survivors. Do not take into account assistance provided to flood survivors for replacement of home contents.

Q. How does our team factor in benefits that applicants have already received when determining funding allocations from the HRCRG?

A. The total amount of eligible costs must be reduced by the amount of home repair or home replacement assistance already received.

For example, if an individual sustained $160,000 in structural damage to the home (contents not included) and received $20,000 in Individual Assistance for structural repairs, then $140,000 is used as a basis for calculating HRCRG benefits, provided that amount has not been submitted, or paid for, by another program.


Q. Can our team use adjusted gross income instead of gross income when determining benefits?

A. Use of adjusted gross income instead of gross income is acceptable.

Q. Can a citizen who sold his or her flooded home use proceeds from the sale, as well as an HRCRG award, to purchase another home?

A. Funds can be used to purchase a new home provided: 1) the new location is out of harm's way, 2) the resident signs a Retention Agreement, and 3) the amount received for the selling of the old home is deducted from purchase price of the new home when using your point system.

Q. Can we allow a citizen to place a modular home on the foundation of a home that flooded?

A. Yes, provided the citizen is willing to sign a Retention Agreement and his or her property is not targeted for acquisition.

Q. How can our team incorporate income when determining HRCRG benefits?

A. It is imperative that you take into account Article 10, Section 18, of the North Dakota Constitution,
www.legis.nd.gov/constitution/const.pdf, as well as local, state and federal laws. Be sure to read this section of the Constitution, but essentially it prohibits local and state jurisdictions from giving credit or making donations except in cases of reasonable support of the poor.

Information about your jurisdiction's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Income Limits guidelines is available at the following website: www.communityservices.nd.gov/uploads/resources/825/sfn-52857-2012-income-limits.pdf

Below are two criteria for potential incorporation into your point system that will take into account the Constitutional requirements. Choose the criteria that will best assist your applicants by providing them the maximum amount of points.


HRCRG benefits
Criteria Points
0% to 50% Loss Compared to 2011 Adjusted Gross Income 1
51% to 100% Loss Compared to 2011 Adjusted Gross Income 2
101% to 150% Loss Compared to 2011 Adjusted Gross Income 3
151% to 200% Loss Compared to 2011 Adjusted Gross Income 4
201% to 300% Loss Compared to 2011 Adjusted Gross Income 5
Or  
160% of 30% Income Limits 3
140% of 50% (Low) Income Limits 2
120% of 80% (Moderate) Income Limits 1



This site updated as of 10/24/2014.