Maryland Department of Emergency Management Makes Up to $25 Million Available to Local Jurisdictions for Disaster Resiliency Projects
MDEM-Administered Program to Build on Federal Legislation to Help Mitigate Loss from Floods, Major Storms, Other Hazards
REISTERSTOWN, MD (January 11, 2023) — The Resilient Maryland Revolving Loan Fund Program (RLF Program), which will provide money to local governments to help pay for hazard mitigation projects, is now open. The program is administered by the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM), and the fund was created by legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan.
“This program is a prime example of a State, federal and local partnership,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “Studies have shown that mitigation projects save an average of $6 in future recovery costs for every $1 spent. This program will help reduce costs to local governments and help them access federal grants to keep their communities safer and more resilient, which gets us closer to our vision of a more resilient Maryland where communities thrive.”
The RLF Program provides funding to local governments to support proactive mitigation projects that reduce the negative effects of natural disasters and other crises. One of the key purposes of the program is to help local governments pay the federal cost–share requirements, which can strain local budgets for larger projects. The loans will have an interest rate of no more than one percent. Most importantly, the loan may be used as the non-federal cost share for other hazard mitigation grants.
The RLF Program is designed to help local governments seeking loans and encourage partnerships between two or more entities to carry out projects. The program also aims to have at least 40 percent of the overall benefits generated from loan funds to flow to underserved communities.
The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act became law in January 2021 and authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide capitalization grants to states for the establishment of revolving loan funds that aid hazard mitigation. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides funding of $500 million over five years, with $50 million appropriated for Federal Fiscal Year 2023.
Local governments may obtain loans to carry out eligible projects that build resilience for homeowners, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and communities. Eligible projects may include mitigation of impacts from severe storms such as hurricanes, tornados, windstorms, and severe winter storms; drought and prolonged intense heat; and flooding, shoreline erosion, high water levels, and storm surges. The funds also can be used for zoning and land use planning and establishing and enforcing resilient building codes. There is no requirement for a presidential disaster declaration or for damages to have occurred.
More information on the STORM Act can be found here: fema.gov/grants/mitigation/storm-rlf. Filing of a Notice of Intent (NOI) will be coordinated through the local emergency management office. For all inquiries, please email ResilientLoan.MDEM@maryland.gov.