Shore Up Connecticut Loan Program
Shore Up Connecticut (previously the Shoreline Resiliency Fund) is a low-interest loan program to provide financing to retrofit structures to be more resilient to impacts from flooding and extreme storms. The program was designed to provide financial assistance for flood-resilience retrofits for property owners that were not eligible for federal disaster aid after Sandy. Both home and business owners are eligible for loans under the program. In announcing the program, Governor Malloy noted that it would help residents prepare for and adapt to the changing environment.
Homeowners can borrow up to $300,000 to pay for flood resilience improvements. Residential homeowners must agree to elevate homes one-foot above the 500-year flood elevation; commercial structures must be flood-proofed or elevated with at least one-foot of freeboard above the 100-year base flood elevation; and all projects must comply with local law and building codes, National Flood Insurance Program regulations, and the American Society of Civil Engineers Flood Resistance Design and Construction Guidelines 24-05. Loans are offered at a 2.75% fixed interest rate for a 15-year term.
Borrowers must comply with certain conditions of the program and only certain property owners are eligible. Eligible properties include primary and secondary single family homes, 1-4 unit owner-occupied multi-family rental properties, and businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Properties must also be located in a flood hazard zone (VE or AE on flood insurance rate maps produced by FEMA) and in a listed coastal municipality. Borrowers must maintain flood and other insurance for the life of the loan and must be up-to-date on taxes.
The program will also have the benefit of helping homeowners elevate homes, which can reduce their flood insurance rates under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Property owners with elevated structures can receive substantial discounts on their flood insurance premiums under the NFIP. This will be of vital importance as flood insurance rates are on the rise. Homeowners that have homes below the base flood elevation, and others, will see rate increases of up to 18% per year as a result of reforms to the NFIP required by the Biggert-Waters Act passed by Congress in 2012. For an analysis of the Biggert-Waters reforms, see the Georgetown Climate Center's analysis of this legislation.
The Shore Up program is administered by the Housing Development Fund, a nonprofit organization established in the state to finance the development of affordable housing. The program is funded by $25 million in bond funding authorized by Connecticut legislature in 2014.
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
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