Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy recently announced the creation of the Connecticut Shoreline Resiliency Fund, a low-interest loan program for state residents who are subject to coastal flooding and would like to elevate their homes and flood-proof their businesses.
“Generations of Connecticut residents have made their homes along our shoreline – in unique communities that are part of what make Connecticut so special,” Governor Malloy said in a statement last week. “Unfortunately, these areas increasingly bear the brunt of severe weather and storm surges.”
Governor Malloy said the new fund will provide direct help to Connecticut residents and allow homeowners and business owners to better protect their property without worrying about the restrictions and limitations they might face with similar federal programs.
The Shoreline Resiliency Fund may only be used for elevating homes and flood-proofing businesses, or elevating businesses as feasible and required by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
To be eligible for the loan, Connecticut homeowners and business owners’ structures must be subject to coastal flooding and located in either Zone VE or Coastal Zone AE as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NFIP. The Shoreline Resiliency Fund can be used to elevate or flood-proof secondary and primary single family homes, 1-4 unit owner-occupied rentals and businesses, and there is no income cap for applicants.
“Sandy taught us all that we need to step up our preparation for the next inevitable super storm, and state government must be a partner in that effort,” said Connecticut Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “This fund will provide critical aid for shoreline homeowners to be ready and I encourage all who may qualify to consider taking advantage of it.”
If a nonresidential building is required to be elevated, it must meet the same standards as for elevations of residential buildings. In cases where elevation of a nonresidential building is either not feasible or not required, flood-proofing measures may be permitted.
“This new program is an important addition to the set of tools we have to help Connecticut residents strengthen and protect their homes and businesses against future storm damage,” said state Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein. “By directing funds to these flood-prone properties we are improving our overall preparedness, and improving the quality of life for those living along the shoreline.”
Flood-proofing is any combination of structural and non-structural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents. Flood-proofing includes, but is not limited to, ensuring:
- Walls are watertight (substantially impermeable to the passage of water)
- Structural components can resist hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy
- Utilities are protected from flood damage
“For buildings along the shoreline, the best defense against flooding is to build up, or build back,” said State Representative James Albis of East Haven, who chaired the General Assembly’s Shoreline Preservation Task Force formed after Irene.
“New changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) mean that if you don’t do so, your insurance premiums could increase astronomically – and for many families the new premiums will be simply unaffordable,” State Rep. Albis said. “The Connecticut Shoreline Resiliency Fund will give homeowners an opportunity to elevate their homes in an affordable manner, and become safer in the process. I commend Governor Malloy for making this fund a priority.”