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Frequently Asked Questions about CDBG-DR Assistance

All FAQs

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY AND OVERVIEW

How do I apply?

All applications must be made in person by appointment at a ReBuild NC Application Center. An application specialist will meet with you and walk through each step of the application with you. Appointments are scheduled in 2-hour blocks. Centers are open now in Bertie, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Lenoir, Robeson and Wayne counties. Residents in other impacted counties can call 2-1-1 to learn how to get help.

To schedule your appointment, dial: 2-1-1.

If calling from another state or a phone that has not translated the dialing code, call 1-888-892-1162.

For more information on the program's application process, click here.


What are the requirements to be eligible for housing assistance through the Rebuild NC program?

The following criteria is for homes that were owned and occupied by the homeowner:

  • Homes must have been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.
  • Homes must be in an eligible county to receive CDBG-DR funding.
  • Damaged home must have been the primary residence for the applicant at the time of Hurricane Matthew (Page 10 State of North Carolina CDBG-DR Housing Recovery Programs)
  • Applicant must be lawfully present in the United States.
  • Applicant must have ownership and legal authority to enter into a funding award.
  • Applicant must allow access to the damaged property for all program-related staff, inspectors, or contractors.

Does having flood insurance prevent me from taking part in the ReBuild NC program?

No, it does not. Receiving other means of assistance does not disqualify you from this program. It may, however, impact the amount of grant funding for which you qualify. Federal law prohibits any individual, business, or entity from receiving a "duplication of benefits" - a term used to describe receiving funds from two sources for the same purpose. Duplication of benefits currently includes assistance from FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), private and NFIP flood insurance, or any other source for which funds are designated toward the rehabilitation or reconstruction of an applicant's flood-damaged home.


I lost the contents of my home during Hurricane Matthew. Will ReBuild NC be able to help with these expenses?

Unfortunately, due to federal restrictions, the program is unable to cover the costs of replacing contents of a home.


Does ReBuild NC provide assistance to homeowners who need to elevate their homes?

A home must be elevated or relocated if in a 100-year floodplain or special flood area and the repairs are considered a “Substantial Improvement.” A substantially improved building is one that will be reconstructed, rehabilitated, or otherwise improved, and the improvement cost equals or exceeds 50 percent of the pre-flood assessed value of the structure before the start of construction for repairs. The home will be replaced or reconstructed if the cost of the repairs before elevation equals or exceeds 50 percent of the pre-flood assessed value. Repaired properties will have to be raised to two feet above the base flood elevation (BFE), meet National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) minimum requirements, and current building code. On a case-by-case basis, a cost reasonableness analysis may be necessary to determine whether it is cost effective to repair or replace."


Does the ReBuild NC program allow for my home to be bought out?

Yes, the program offers the option for federal buyout, as well as repair, reconstruction and reimbursement for homeowners who meet the necessary criteria.


Can my grant award funds or other Federal Disaster Recovery program funds be used to repay and/or pay down a SBA loan?

No, according to current federal agency guidance, federal grants/loans cannot be used to repay other federal grants/loans.


Are interpreters available?

Yes. Bilingual staff are available at 2-1-1. Please indicate what type of interpreter or translator is needed when making your appointment.


APPLICATION

What can I apply for?

  • Single-Family Homeowner Rehabilitation: If your home was damaged in Hurricane Matthew, this program can help complete the damage repairs and elevate two feet above the base flood elevation (if required).
  • Single-Family Homeowner Reconstruction:If your home was substantially damaged, this program can help reconstruct the whole building based on program approved floor plans, and elevate two feet above the base flood elevation (if required).
  • Housing Repair Reimbursement:If you used your own funds to repair damage from Hurricane Matthew before October 8, 2017, and before submitting an application for assistance, this program may reimburse you for costs incurred.
  • Homeowner Buyout: If your home was severely damaged, is not in a FEMA buyout program, and is in an area that is an eligible buyout area (program representatives can provide this information), you may be able to voluntarily sell your home at pre-disaster fair market value and move to a safer location.
  • Mobile Home Repair: If your mobile home was damaged, this program may be able to complete the damage repairs and elevate two feet above the base flood elevation (if required).
  • Mobile Home Replacement: If your mobile home was heavily damaged, this program may replace your mobile home and elevate two feet above the base flood elevation (if required).
  • Temporary Rental Assistance:If you were displaced from your home as a direct result of Hurricane Matthew and are participating in a CDBG-DR program, ReBuild NC may provide you with a short-to-medium-term rental.
  • Homeowner Assistance: This program may help with gap financing between the cost of a new home and the sale price of a previous home for eligible applicants who are part of a FEMA or ReBuild NC buyout program.
  • Small Rental Assistance: This program may help landlords repair rental homes with fewer than eight units.
  • Multi-Family Rental Assistance: This program may provide gap financing to repair rental housing in the most impacted communities and may create new multi-family affordable housing.
  • Home Insurance Assistance: This program pays the first month premium of flood insurance for homeowners located with the floodplain.

What do I need to bring with me?

All applicants should bring as many of the following documents with you to your appointment as you can:

  • Photo identification (driver license, passport, or state ID)
  • Proof of legal residency (Social Security card, Green Card or Visa)
  • Proof you lived in the damaged residence at the time of Hurricane Matthew (such as a utility bill from the month of the disaster in the applicant’s name)
  • Any before and after pictures of the property (if available)
  • Copy of the most recent 1040 tax return or last three pay stubs for all adults (18 and older) who live in the home
  • Copies of insurance payments received for any Hurricane Matthew-related damage to the home
  • Receipts and photos for any repairs already completed prior to application

Homeowners also need to provide proof of ownership and show that they are current on mortgage payments (a letter from your mortgage lender or confirmation of recent payment).


Can I apply at any center?

Yes, however, officials recommend you apply at the ReBuild NC Application Center closest to you. For a list of application center locations and hours of operation, please visit: https://www.rebuild.nc.gov/application-centers. If you live outside the radius served by an application center, call 2-1-1 to learn about additional options.


How long does the application take?

Each application appointment may take up to two hours. Specialists will walk through the full application and all documents with you.


Do I have to make an appointment?

Yes, all applicants need to call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment to complete an in-person application. Scheduling an appointment will ensure an application specialist is available to assist you in completing your application and collecting all necessary documentation.


If I have filled out other applications, am I already signed up?

No. Previous applications to FEMA, SBA, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, or any volunteer groups are separate from this program.


Is there a deadline to apply?

There is currently no deadline to apply, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as they can.


I need to update the information I provided on my application and/or submit additional documentation; how can I do this?

Homeowners are encouraged to bring all supporting documentation required to complete their application to the nearest application center. For locations and hours of operation, please visit: https://www.rebuild.nc.gov/application-centers.

To update the information provided in your program application, please dial 2-1-1 to speak to a program representative or visit an application center.


I will need additional accommodations in order to complete my application. What should I do?

If you have a disability or any other barriers that may require additional accommodations to complete your application, please notify a program representative at the time of scheduling your application appointment so that we may assist you accordingly.


PROGRAM REVIEWS AND ASSESSMENTS

What is a lead-based paint assessment?

All homes constructed prior to 1978 are federally required to undergo a lead-based paint risk assessment. The ReBuild NC lead-based paint inspector will test your paint, take samples of the soil outside, and sample the dust on floors and window sills inside. The assessor will need to inspect both the interior and exterior of the home.


What is an environmental review?

An environmental review must be completed prior to home construction. The environmental review is the process of reviewing a project and its potential to impact the environment. This process is required by federal regulation to ensure that the proposed project does not negatively impact the environment and/or our citizens.


What does "Verification of Benefits" mean?

Verification of benefits is the process used by the program to verify the sources of funding provided to a homeowner in response to Hurricane Matthew.


CONSTRUCTION

Does the program provide assistance to homeowners who are required to vacate their home and relocate during construction or reconstruction?

Yes, homeowners should notify the program prior to beginning construction if they will require assistance in finding temporary housing.


What are Green Building Standards and how do I make sure I comply?

Green Building Standards aim to ensure construction is completed in an environmentally-responsible and resource-efficient way.

The ReBuild NC Program has adopted the ENERGY STAR Certified Home standard for projects that were substantially damaged or where reconstruction is required. Homes that were non-substantially damaged must apply the HUD CPD Green Building Retrofit checklist to all work undertaken as a part of the program. Green Building Standards will be applied as follows:

  • For construction projects completed, under construction, or under contract prior to the date of grant execution, adherence to the applicable standards to the extent feasible is encouraged, but not required. The program will include in its construction estimates the necessary materials, products, and labor needed to meet program-required Green Building Standards. Adherence to the applicable Green Building Standard will be verified at each construction draw inspection. Should an applicant or an applicant's contractor fail to comply with the applicable Green Building Standard, the work is not eligible for payment under the program.
  • Homeowners who have not completed or begun construction or are not under contract for construction services at the time of grant agreement execution must comply with the HUD CPD Green Building Retrofit Checklist, as applicable, for rehabilitation projects or the ENERGY STAR Certified Home Standard for reconstruction projects. If during final inspection it has been determined that non-energy efficiency materials were used in place of the prescribed energy efficiency line items for rehabilitation projects, the Program will deduct the value of the prescribed energy efficiency line items from an applicant's final grant award in their entirety. Thus, applicants will not receive funding for any non-energy efficiency materials as observed during final inspection. For reconstruction projects that do not meet the ENERGY STAR Certified Home Standard, the applicant will forfeit the entire amount of the grant.

 

Additional guidance on HUD's Green Building Retrofit Checklist can be found at: https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/3684/guidance-on-the-cpd-green-building-checklist/.


Who selects the contractor that will perform construction on my house?

The program will assign and manage a contractor to complete the repairs/reconstruction on your home.


PROGRAM AWARDS AND BENEFITS

What programs are available through ReBuild NC?

For more information on all available programs, please visit: https://www.rebuild.nc.gov/available-assistance


How is my grant award calculated?

During the damage assessment, a program representative will perform a detailed inspection of the home to determine a dollar amount (based on economy/standard-grade materials) for the work already completed on the home and the work that remains. The program will then review any other benefits received from other sources, such as FEMA Individual Assistance or SBA loans. Federal law requires the accounting of other benefits in calculating the grant award.


If I receive a grant from the ReBuild NC program, will I be required to pay it back?

No. The ReBuild NC program provides homeowners funding in the form of a grant, which does not have to be paid back.

However, for applicants participating in the Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP) and who receive assistance to help with gap financing between the cost of a new home and the sale price of a previous home as part of a FEMA or ReBuild NC buyout program, the assistance will be forgiven after an ownership period of five years. If sold within the first year, the assistance will be repaid in full; if sold in years two through five, the loan amount will be reduced by twenty percent per year. The applicant must sign a promissory note and deed of trust that covers the total amount of HAP assistance.


When should I expect to receive assistance from the program?

Assistance dispersal depends on the type of program the applicant applied for, the associated eligibility requirements, duplication of benefits review, and property inspection and environmental review. This process can take several months. To learn more about the process, click here.


What can I be reimbursed for through the ReBuild NC program?

Applicants must have received a preliminary award notification and be otherwise eligible for assistance before approval for reimbursement can be given. Reimbursement options are described briefly below:

  • Reimbursement Only (all work completed): Applicants who have completed all repairs or reconstruction, including elevation (if required), are eligible for reimbursement upon confirmation by the program that the work has been completed and the costs for repairs are reasonable. Applicants must inform the program of any sources of funding received for the same purpose of repair or replacement to the housing structure. These other sources of funding (e.g. FEMA, SBA, insurance, etc.) will be considered a duplication of benefits (DOB) and deducted from the reimbursement amount.
    • Approved applicants will sign a Participant Agreement that includes the requirements to maintain damage insurance on the property located in the 100-year flood plain, to reside in the house as their primary residents for the term of the agreement and agree to subrogate back to the program any subsequent funds received from insurance or other sources for repair or replacement.
  • Reimbursement with Work Remaining to Be Completed by the Program Inspector: Applicants with work remaining to be completed may request reimbursement for eligible completed repairs and commit to allowing the program to bring the property to safe and sanitary conditions. The applicant is required to sign a Grant Agreement and Covenant (if applicable), and a Construction Agreement with the contractor if repairs are made.

Does the ReBuild NC program assist mobile home homeowners?

Yes, the ReBuild North Carolina program currently provides funds for repair or replacement for mobile home homeowners.

Manufactured homes with damages amounting to less than 50 percent of its pre-disaster value may receive up to $15,000 for repairs. If the cost of repairs is equal to or exceeds 50 percent of the pre-disaster assessed value, the property is not suitable for rehabilitation and will be considered for replacement.


What does "duplication of benefits" mean?

Duplication of benefits is the receipt of funding from multiple sources for the same purpose. The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Act (Stafford Act) prohibits any person, business concern or other entity from receiving financial assistance from CDBG Disaster Recovery funding with respect to any part of the loss resulting from a major disaster as to which he/she has already received financial assistance under any other program or from insurance or any other sources. It is an amount determined by the program that may result in the reduction of an award value.

Duplication of benefits includes assistance from FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), private and NFIP flood insurance, or any other source for which funds are designated toward the rehabilitation or reconstruction of an applicant’s structure.


I applied and was told that I was eligible for an SBA loan. How will this affect my grant award?

Current federal regulations deem Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for repair to be a duplication of benefits for federally-funded repair programs. If an applicant has executed a loan from the SBA to cover the cost of repairs, the total amount of the approved loan is considered a duplication of benefits and unfortunately, the entire SBA approved loan amount counts as a duplication of benefits even if an applicant has declined the loan or requested a reduction after SBA approval.

Further, the entire SBA approved amount counts as a duplication of benefits even if an applicant has not drawn down any funds from the approved loan.

Applicants who have applied for an SBA loan but have a record of declining the loan or have not executed the SBA loan may be considered for program funding, but awards will be adjusted to account for any SBA duplication of benefits.

If a low to moderate income (LMI) household has declined an SBA loan, a hardship will be presumed and the SBA loan will not be considered a duplication of benefits. SBA loan declination is defined as an applicant having never executed the SBA loan documents.

In addition, hardship rules can be extended to both LMI and non-LMI households in cases where SBA has changed the underwriting of the loan and its terms due to a change in the applicant’s circumstances (loss of job, death, etc.). If this occurs, the program would use the new eligible SBA award if they lowered the loan, or remove the DOB in its entirety if it was cancelled in full. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to contact SBA and provide the program with a copy of their letter from SBA if they meet these criteria.


I don't think my SBA loan should be considered a Duplication of Benefits. What is being done to address this?

Unfortunately, the federal government requires SBA loans to be counted as a DOB, except in cases where a homeowner’s situation may meet hardship criteria. ReBuild NC is mandated to operate in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides the federal funding to operate the program.


I disagree with my current grant award/eligibility status and have supporting documentation I would like to provide the program. How can I submit an appeal with the program?

Program applicants may appeal a decision by the program regarding their eligibility, award amount, or requirement to rebuild. All appeals (except for Robeson County residents) must be submitted in writing to the address below using the approved "Request for Appeal" form within thirty (30) days of a program determination. Click here to download the appeals policy and form.

Rebuild NC Appeals Team
North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
4236 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4236
ATTN: NCEM CDBG-DR
Email: appeals@rebuild.nc.gov

*Robeson County residents should appeal at:
Rebuild NC Robeson Appeals Process
405 Dunn Road
Lumberton, NC 28358

Written responses will be provided to the applicant or tenant within fifteen (15) days.


Does the program provide funding for homeowners who need to purchase flood insurance?

Yes, the premium for the first year of flood insurance is eligible for funding under the CDBG-DR manufactured home program.


Am I required to maintain flood insurance as a participant in a ReBuild NC homeowner program?

Grant recipients are required to maintain homeowners flood insurance if located in a floodplain for the remaining life of the home.

  • You must submit proof of flood insurance or a letter of declination (if home is uninsurable because of disrepair or the MHU is not on site) before signing your Grant Agreement.
  • In addition, you will be required to submit proof that you obtained flood insurance after your construction has been completed or your MHU has been installed. Final payment will not be released until this proof of flood insurance is provided to the program.
  • Homeowners who fail to provide proof of flood insurance will be ineligible to receive grant funds and/or in the event funds have already been provided, can be subject to recapture.
  • Failure to maintain insurance in the future will result in ineligibility for future disaster relief per federal guidelines.