Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Mayors, County Judges and Emergency Management officials in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, urging them to take immediate advantage of the $500 million in funds from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program that are available now.

“The hazard mitigation funds available today can provide immediate relief and resiliency to your community,” writes Governor Abbott. “As of today, the Texas Department of Emergency Management has received only seven complete applications from the entire region impacted by Hurricane Harvey. That means hundreds of millions of dollars that are available to Texas communities today are not being put to use.”

Included in the letter, the Governor reminds officials that local governments will not be obligated to pay the typical 25 percent local cost share for hazard mitigation grants. Instead, Congress provided that the cost share will be paid through CDBG, and that is now part of the State CDBG Plan.

In February, Governor Abbott announced the availability of $500 million of funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). In four months, approximately $600 million of additional hazard mitigation funds will become available.

These FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds are in addition to the more than $10 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds approved by Congress and awarded to Texas.

Hazard mitigation funds can be used in a number of ways, including: buyouts and elevations of flood prone properties; drainage and reservoir projects that eliminate future flooding; projects to lessen the frequency or severity of flooding; flood risk reduction projects (dams, retention basins, levees, floodwalls); large-scale channeling of waterways; and other projects.