Governor Dannel P. Malloy is urging the Connecticut General Assembly to adopt legislation he introduced that will provide an authorization of up to $25 million to support the launch of the Shoreline Resiliency Fund -- a low-interest loan program the Governor created late last year that will help residents who are subject to coastal flooding elevate their homes and flood-proof their businesses.
While start-up costs to administer the program were approved in January, the fund cannot begin helping residents and businesses until it receives financing.
"The frequency of severe weather has been increasing, putting homes and businesses near Connecticut's historic and valued shoreline at risk," said Governor Malloy, who made the announcement at an event at East Haven's Cosey Beach, a neighborhood that suffered a significant amount of damage from recent severe weather. "The Shoreline Resiliency Fund will help residents whose homes and businesses are subject to coastal flooding take a proactive role in preparing for the next storm."
As proposed by Governor Malloy, the Shoreline Resiliency Fund will provide loans of up to $300,000 for 10 years with no principal or interest for one year. Funds can be used to elevate or flood-proof primary and secondary single homes, one to four unit owner-occupied rentals, and businesses. There is no income cap for applicants.
To be eligible, 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 and the National Flood Insurance Program.
"The program is a smart, forward-thinking approach that will help fill the funding gaps left by the many federal disaster recovery programs already available to help homeowners," said Evonne Klein, Commissioner of the Department of Housing, which administers the Shoreline Resiliency Fund. "With Governor Malloy's leadership, we're assisting homeowners and businesses to recover from the devastation of recent major storms, but we're also supporting measures to fortify properties against such widespread damage in the future."
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
"The recovery and repair effort continues for many families in East Haven and elsewhere along Connecticut's shoreline," said State Senator Len Fasano (R-Durham, East Haven, North Haven, Wallingford). "This program provides an affordable way for qualified homeowners and businesses to elevate their properties, protecting them from drastic insurance premium increases and helping to protect them from future catastrophic weather events."
"The Shoreline Resiliency Fund is the type of aggressive action we need to protect our residents and address the threats associated with extreme weather," said State Representative Roland Lemar (D-East Haven, New Haven).