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Dougherty Co. homeowners up for grant to prevent future disaster damage

Local leaders are aiming to get a grant that will protect people and their properties ahead of future natural disasters./ Jazmyne Hankerson

The City of Albany and Dougherty County leaders are aiming to get a grant that will protect people and their properties ahead of future natural disasters.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is a competitive grant that leaders said they’ve seen homes in other areas be saved by this type of prevention.

Local leaders said they understand that storm survivors are frustrated but they are doing all that they can to try to continue to help.

"There’s more questions than answers and it’s much more difficult than anyone could have imagined but certainly we're concerned,” said Dougherty County District Two Commissioner John Hayes. “We are working hard but unfortunately the relief is not coming as fast as everybody needs it."

To win the grant, residents must apply.

If the community wins the grant, there would be cost-share agreement to elevate or buy out the selected homes.

  • 75% federal funding
  • 10% state funding
  • 15% local funding (homeowner)

Only Dougherty County homes impacted by either January storm and are in the special flood hazard area are eligible for HMGP.

The house would be appraised at its fair market value before the storms took place.

Donald Kunish, Deputy Director of Post Disaster Programs for Tetra Tech, said people who are interested have to apply now and everyone is still working hard on recovery.

"If you don’t play, you don’t win. It’s a competitive process and if you want any chance at getting the funding, you at least have to apply,” said Kunish. “Right now there’s no obligation to do anything even if the grant is awarded so it’s at least putting your hat in the ring."

If Dougherty county wins it would be $8.525 million available for homeowners.

Kunish said it’s a long process though and money probably wouldn't even start being used to make repairs for another 18 months.

The application deadline is May 24.

If you need more information about applying, call (229) 463-3135 or email Dougherty-albany@sites.tetratech.com

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