The Private Property Adaptation program, titled Fight the Flood, is well underway after comprehensive program development, a procurement process, and competitive grant process. The goal of the program is to mitigate the risk of flooding for private buildings in the City of Miami Beach by incentivizing the construction of green infrastructure and flood-management retrofits on existing properties. Projects are intended to help property owners adapt to the effects of climate change and sea level rise, such as flooding caused by increased stormwater, rising groundwater levels, tidal levels, and/or storm surge levels. The program is currently in Phase 1, assessments, this fiscal year. This innovative program is one of the first of its kind and draws from best practice research nationally.
Additionally, the referral memo contained specific questions regarding seawalls. Grants may be awarded for seawalls within the program if that is a feasible option. Since the City’s Seawall Ordinance was passed in January of 2021, 244 seawall permits have been issued.
Fight the Flood was communicated widely, and three application webinars were held. Between the live application period of July 25th to August 19th of 2022, 65 private property owners applied to the program. Of there, 46 were accepted and 42 are interested in continuing forward with the program. All 42 site visits have been completed as of February 27th, 2023. The consultant is undergoing quality control completing the assessment reports. These reports will summarize the findings of the site visits and provide flood mitigation recommendations based upon property owner feedback and the risk assessment. The reports are scheduled to be finalized by summer 2023.
The program is currently funded with $1.9M, the additional two years of funding is pending budget approval for FY24 and FY25 per the Resolution.
Through this competitive grant program, selected properties receive on-site assessments of current and potential future flood risk and receive recommendations for improvements tailored to each property. The selected properties will receive funding through a 50/50 matching grant, with up to $20,000 available for the full scope of work, including the assessment. No match will be required for low-to-moderate income (LMI) properties. Only proposed projects that directly address flooding mitigation are eligible.
This program is open to single-family homes, multi-family properties (including condos), and commercial properties. Interested property owners first fill out an online application via the secured website Submittable that asks a range of questions about the applicant, the property, and the flood risk. An application does not guarantee grant funding. Applications must first pass a verification phase, then an internal multidisciplinary panel scores applications against a preestablished rubric. The rubric prioritizes properties that have a low elevation, have experienced flooding, have submitted a flood claim, and/or qualify as LMI (defined as 140% Area Median Income).
To be eligible for the program, applying property owners must provide the documentation below:
1. Elevation Certificate
2. Proof of Flood Insurance
3. Valid identification (state-issued or passport)
4. Year of Property Construction
5. Income verification for Low to Median Income (LMI) residential properties
The first phase of the Private Property Adaptation program is the assessment process. The selected prime consultant team for this phase is being led by Brizaga, Inc. The consultant team analyzes the flood risk of each property and provides recommendations on potential improvements to mitigate this risk and its associated cost. This information is then provided to the property owner as an easily digestible report.
The second phase of the PPA program is construction of the improvements. After confirming interest in continuing with the program, each applicant will work with the consultant team to select recommendations from the assessment. The oversight process and contractual agreement language between contractors and property owners are currently being reviewed by the City.
Only projects that directly mitigate flooding– to the structure or property – are eligible to receive PPA funding. Eligible projects include but are not limited to: green infrastructure, permeable materials, rain gardens, dry floodproofing, drainage, and seawall restorations to meet requirements as dictated by Ordinance No. 2020-4393.
The program is reimbursement-based. The grant funding will be reimbursed at the close of the project. Properties that qualify as LMI will not be required to cover costs up-front.
SUPPORTING SURVEY DATA:
The City's 2022 Community Satisfaction Survey shows that 40% of residents are satisfied with their building’s flood risk protection, with 33% neutral and 37% satisfied. The Survey also showed that 78.9% of respondents are supportive or very supportive of the City spending tax dollars to address sea level rise. "Stormwater and Drainage Improvements" is the most important capital project type for respondents.