The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in the Continental United States


Flood Mitigation Grants

UPDATE jULY 29, 2018:

While two buildings at one of the below locations was selected during 2016 funding cycle, the intervenaing impact from Hurricane Irma is preventing the City from proceeding. The City would be required to reimburse the home owner for costs, and then submit those costs to the State and then FEMA for reimbursement. Presently the City doesn't have funds available to make such reimbursements and wait for eventual reimbursement. 

Three buildings were submitted to the mitigation project during the 2017 cycle, but none in Key West were selected. 

UPDATE MAY 3, 2016:

The grant application has been submitted. The 2016 grant application cycle is now closed.  Another grant cycle might occur during the spring of 2017, but only if Congress opts to fund the program again.  Since in the interim, Congress may revisit flood insurance reform, it's questionable whether they will refund the program.

Our application is to demolish and rebuild ten homes within Key West; a $4m project, about half of which would be funded by FEMA.

This a nationwide competitive grant with $199m available this cycle. 

Technical reviewers at the State and then FEMA will review our application. We wouldn't expect another update until the fall of 2016.  There may be requests for more information during the technical reviews. Any grant award be formally announced during January 2017.

If our applications aren't funded, we'll simply refile the same applications for the 2017 grant cycle - assuming there is one.

It's quite common for some homeowners to drop out of the process before the grant is awarded. If one of these properties has a very high eligibility, it could cause a property with lower eligibility to be dropped as well. 

Properties with lower eligibility wouldn't normally qualify for such grants. Paring lower eligibility homes with highly eligible properties is a method of getting both funded.  The downside to this occurs when a highly eligible property owner drops-out, as it results in the simultaneous removal of one of the lower eligible properties. 

Which lower eligible property gets dropped as a result, is dependent upon a cost-benefit analysis score. These scores are dependent upon the size, condition, location, value and construction type of your home in comparison to the type of mitigation being proposed. There's little that can be done to change these scores, as they're based on the facts at-hand.




The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida Division of Emergency Management have received the following application for Federal grant funding.  Final notice is hereby given of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) consideration to provide funding in the form of a Flood Mitigation Assistance Program Grant.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal actions must be reviewed and evaluated for feasible alternatives and for social, economic, historic, environmental, legal, and safety considerations. Under Executive Order (EO) 11988 and EO 11990 FEMA is required to consider alternatives to and to provide public notice of any proposed actions in or affecting floodplains or wetlands. EO 12898 also requires FEMA to provide the opportunity for public participation in the planning process and to consider potential impacts to minority or low-income populations.

Funding for the proposed project will be conditional upon compliance with all applicable federal, tribal, state and local laws, regulations, floodplain standards, permit requirements and conditions.

Applicant:  City of Key West

Project Title:  City of Key West 2016 Mitigation Reconstruction Projects

Location of Proposed Work:

The area affected by this project consists of ten (10) residential properties located on the following streets in Key West:          

Seminary Street

Roosevelt Boulevard

20th Terrace

Linda Avenue

Eagle Avenue

Bertha Street

Duncombe Street

Von Phister Street

Proposed Work and Purpose:

The City of Key West intends to reconstruct ten (10) residential structures located in the community’s Special Flood Hazard Area (Zone AE) that have experienced flood loss. To reduce the current flooding problem, the proposed project will demolish and rebuild the current structures so that the first floor rests at least 2.5 feet above the base flood elevation (BFE).  Space below the BFE will be used as non-habitable storage, parking, or building access space. Any enclosed area below the BFE will have a minimum of two hydrostatic openings to allow for automatic entry/exit of floodwaters, and all construction materials below BFE will be flood-resistant. The electrical and mechanical equipment outside the structure will also be elevated to at least 2.5 feet above the BFE, in accordance with ASCE-24 guidelines. The City of Key West will ensure that all applicable codes and regulations are adhered to, and will provide proof of as-built, final elevation certificate and certificate of occupancy as required by the State and FEMA for final inspection.

Project Alternatives:

The alternatives to the project that have been and will be considered are 1) the no action alternative and 2) structure elevation. These alternatives to the proposed project are not viable because under Alternative 1) the property will remain vulnerable to flood risks, including property damage and health hazards; as such, continued negative impacts on the property, residents, and community may be experienced; and under Alternative 2), structure elevation would be difficult due to the structures’ age, slab on grade foundations, proximity to neighbors, and finished floor elevation height required.  

Comment Period:

Comments are solicited from the public; local, state or federal agencies; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed project.  The comments should be made in writing and addressed to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Bureau of Recovery and Mitigation, 2555 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100.  These are due within 30 days of this notice.  The State will forward comments to applicable regulatory agencies as needed.  Interested persons may submit comments, obtain more detailed information about the proposed action, or request a copy of the findings by contacting:

Scott Fraser, CFM – FEMA/CRS Coordinator and Floodplain Administrator

City of Key West, florida             

(305) 809-3810                             


Adele Balmer, State Environmental Liaison Officer 

Florida Division of Emergency Management   

(407) 856-5019

UPDATE APRIL 15, 2016:

The 2016 application period has closed. 

A team of structural engineers from our consultants at Arcadis, will be in town next week. conducting site reviews of the properties deemed most eligible. They won't need to enter any homes, just the property. They'll likely ask the homeowner to sign a standard waiver, allowing them to access the property for this effort.

They'll be evaluating things like: any obstacles to elevation, technical feasibility, rough value of the structure, type of construction, how high the building should be elevated... etc.

They'll use this information to perform individual cost/benefit analyses for each building, which is required for a successful mitigation grant applications.

Not all applications will be eligible this year.  So how is that decision made....

At least half of the properties within one grant application must be considered a FEMA priority to be a competitive application. Those with the most claims and highest claim payments are a FEMA priority.  These priority properties may each carry one non-prioritized property in the grant application, resulting in a pool of 12-14 potential applicants. The final pool of applicants, and the final number of applicants, will be determined based on the results of a cost/benefit analysis and technical feasibility assessment.

The consultants complete the formal application for each individual buildings, decide which are viable, then bundle this collection into one large application.  

The City be sending messages to those property owners whose home didn't make it into this year's application.

However... keep the following in mind:

  • The federal mitigation funding starts anew each year, so keep all your documentation handy and keep resubmitting.
    • If your property was one that was visited by the engineering team, we'll have the cost/benefit analysis already done for you.  This will save you the time and costs of having one done for future submissions.
  • Keep your pre-application packet in a safe place... so the next time your building floods, you'll already have most of the necessary paperwork done. 
    • After a flood event, many people miss out on this mitigation funding, because their lives are in turmoil and they're focused on so many other important concerns.  They simply don't have the time or energy to pursue a grant opportunity.  Having this package ready-to-go will be a big relief. 

The City has hired flood mitigation consultants from Arcadis U.S., Inc. to work directly with property owners interested in applying for flood mitigation grants to better protect their buildings from future flood damage.

Special E-Mail Address: Flood@CityofKeyWest-FL.Gov

This special e-mail address was created just for this project. Messages to this address are automatically sent to City staff and the consultants. 

UPDATE: On March 23, 2016, the city held a Flood Mitigation Workshop with professionals from Arcadis Design & Consultancy who have a great deal of experience with the flood mitigation grant process.

Click here to view a nearly two-hour video recording of this very informative event. 

Flood Mitigation Grant Pre-Application Packet

Click here to download

Information Sites: Helpful web sites for information needed on your Pre-Application

Quick Facts:

  • Window for flood mitigation grants occurs once annually.
    • Current application package deadline: April 1st, 2016.
    • Please turn in your Application Package even if you miss the RFI deadline.
  • Keep your application handy
    • You can keep submitting the same application annually
    • Your property could become more eligible with another flood event. With a quick update about the last flood, your grant application will be ready-to-submit.
      • Many property owners lose-out on grant opportunities after a flood, but their lives are in chaos and they don't have the time nor opportunity to gather the necessary documentation. 
  • No Cost to Property Owner for Application
    • The application is cost free
    • Grants are awarded with a certain percent of owner contribution
      • 100% funding for Severe Repetitive Loss properties / No Owner contribution required
      • 75-80% for other properties / 20-20% Owner contribution required

Next Step:

  • Key West will review all pre-application packages for eligibility and project prioritization in accordance with FEMA funding guidelines. 
  • Please address any questions that you may have to Flood@CityofKeyWest-FL.Gov

Application Tips

Here's where to find some of the technical information you'll need for the application...

Tax Map Block/Parcel Numbers:  Go to the Monroe County Property Appraiser's web site and search for your property records.

Click on either of the map images.


You'll be taken to a page that looks like this map shown below. If the aerial photos obscures the map information,  change the "Base Map" on the upper right to "Light Grey."


The Block Number is in purple (#61 in the example below); the Lot Number is within the highlighted lot (#12210 in the example below).

This is also your tax map; go ahead and print your tax map.


Map Panel Number; Base Flood Elevation (BFE) & Effective Date: Go to FEMA's flood map web site and enter your street address in the search block. 

The Panel Number and effective date are in red. In the example below:

Panel # = 12087C1517K

Effective Date = 2/18/2005

Base Flood Elevation (in light grey text) = 8


UPDATE - Thursday, March 30, 2016:

A Message from City of Key West, Florida - Office of Floodplain Management:

During these last days, there's a steady stream of people coming to City Hall with partially completed applications looking for help, and the staff is getting a bit overwhelmed. 

Also, the last day, Friday, April 1st, I'll be out-of-town.

So... we've beefed-up the City's web page on this topic, with Application Tips, and a few links to obtain some of the technical information you might not know.

To access this web page, use the following link:

Or... go to the City's website [ ] and in the search block type: "Flood Mitigation Grants."

At this late day City staff doesn't have time to scan everyone's documentation packets. Best to scan it yourself and email the packet to Flood@CityofKeyWest-FL.Gov

When you send it to this special e-mail address, it automatically goes to our consultants in Tallahassee and our local office.

If you are over-nighting hard copies don't send them to the City, but directly to our Consultants

specialists at:

Kelli Thurson, CFM


3522 Thomasville Rd.

Tallahassee, FL  32309  USA

Contact Us

Scott Fraser,
FEMA Coordinator/Floodplain Administrator
Building Department
1300 White St
Key West, FL 33040
Get Directions
  • Business: (305) 809-3810
  • Staff Directory
  • Monday - Friday; 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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