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Frequently Asked Questions about CDBG-DR Assistance

All FAQs

CONSTRUCTION

PROGRAM AWARDS AND BENEFITS

FLOOD INSURANCE

FLOOD INSURANCE ASSISTANCE

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY AND OVERVIEW

How do I apply?

The application deadline for single-family assistance programs, including housing repair reimbursement, single-family homeowner rehabilitation/repair, single-family homeowner reconstruction, mobile home repair, mobile home replacement, and flood insurance assistance, was May 31, 2019. ReBuild NC is unable to accept applications for these programs after the deadline.

Application information for the CDBG-DR homeowner buyout program, temporary rental assistance program, small rental assistance program, and multi-family rental assistance program will be available soon.


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 received major/severe damage as a direct result of Hurricane Matthew. Major or severe damage is defined as $8,000 or more of FEMA inspected real property damage, or 1 foot or more of flood damage on the first floor of the home.
  • Homes must be in an eligible county to receive CDBG-DR funding (Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, and Wilson Counties)
  • Damaged home must have been the primary residence for the applicant at the time of Hurricane Matthew.
  • 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 receiving damage from Hurricane Florence prevent me from taking part in the ReBuild NC program?

No, receiving additional damage from Hurricane Florence, on top of existing damage from Hurricane Matthew, does not prevent you from receiving assistance from the ReBuild North Carolina program.

However, you must have sustained damage from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 to be eligible to participate in the ReBuild NC program.


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

No, it does not. Receiving flood insurance or any 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 an SBA loan?

No, according to current federal agency guidance, federal grants/loans cannot be used to repay other federal grants/loans. For more information, see this FAQ.


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.


I sold my home after Hurricane Matthew, am I still eligible for assistance through the ReBuild NC program?

No, program policy requires homeowners to self-certify that they still own the damaged property and have not transferred it or received notices of default or seizure related to taxes, mortgage, or title prior to receiving a grant award in order to receive any grant funding.

Additionally, the program requires that homeowners maintain ownership throughout the entirety of their participation in the program.


APPLICATION

What can I apply for?

The application deadline for single-family assistance programs, including housing repair reimbursement, single-family homeowner rehabilitation/repair, single-family homeowner reconstruction, mobile home repair, mobile home replacement, and flood insurance assistance, was May 31, 2019. ReBuild NC is unable to accept applications for these programs after the deadline.

Application information for the following programs will be available soon:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

What do I need to bring with me?

All applicants should bring as many of the following documents with them to their appointment as they 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 months of 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).

For more information, homeowners can review the program’s Application Documentation Checklist.


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?

Yes. The application deadline for single-family assistance programs, including housing repair reimbursement, single-family homeowner rehabilitation/repair, single-family homeowner reconstruction, mobile home repair, mobile home replacement, and flood insurance assistance, was May 31, 2019. ReBuild NC is unable to accept applications for these programs after the deadline.

Application information for the CDBG-DR homeowner buyout program, temporary rental assistance program, small rental assistance program, and multi-family rental assistance program will be available soon.


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, please notify a program representative at the time of scheduling your 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.


Am I able to continue completing repairs on my property after submitting an application to the program?

No. Per HUD regulations, all applicants are required to stop completing repairs after submitting an application to the program. Failure to comply will result in ineligibility and may be subject to repayment of ReBuild NC funding, if already received.


PROGRAM AWARDS AND BENEFITS

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?

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. Applicants who used their own funds to repair damage from Hurricane Matthew before September 14, 2018, or before submitting an application for assistance (whichever occurred first) may be eligible for reimbursement for incurred costs.
    • 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. Applicants who used their own funds to repair damage from Hurricane Matthew before September 14, 2018, or before submitting an application for assistance (whichever occurred first) may be eligible for reimbursement for incurred costs.

Does the ReBuild NC program assist mobile home homeowners?

Yes, the ReBuild NC program currently provides funds to repair or replace mobile homes. Manufactured homes with damages amounting to more than $1,000 but less than $5,000 may receive assistance for repairs. If the cost of repairs exceeds $5,000, 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.

Receiving other means of assistance, such as 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 structure does not disqualify a homeowner from receiving assistance from the ReBuild NC program. However, it may impact the amount of grant funding for which a homeowner qualifies.


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.

Should the program receive further guidance to no longer consider SBA loans as a duplication of benefits, homeowners will have their grant award calculations updated by the program.


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 currently 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.

However, recent federal legislation, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, and the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, address inclusion of SBA loans as a duplication of benefits.

On October 18, 2018, Governor Roy Cooper submitted a letter to President Donald J. Trump requesting a waiver of any requirements to consider Small Business Administration (SBA) loans as a duplication of benefits (DOB) to funding appropriated by Congress to the State of North Carolina through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for disaster recovery. To date, the president has not signed nor rejected the waiver request and recent communications from Washington indicates that this might not be required.

However, before proceeding, the state must receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on their interpretation of the law and the program’s implementation requirements related to this change. Once this occurs, the program will recalculate awards for active applicants who are positively impacted by this new guidance.


I received my award letter and am ready to proceed, how do I communicate my final decision?

Applicants who have received an award letter and are ready to proceed with a final award decision are strongly encouraged to schedule an award meeting with a program representative. To do this, applicants should dial 2-1-1 and request an appointment for an award meeting. During the award meeting, applicants will meet with an Award Specialist and have the opportunity to discuss their award letter and ask any questions they may have. Award meetings can be scheduled for in-person at a ReBuild NC application center or by phone.

Following the award meeting, applicants will be required to mail, email, or drop off the following signed and completed forms, which are included in the award letter packet that is being mailed to applicants:

  • Selections & Confirmations Form
  • Construction Notice Form
  • Reimbursement Self-Certification Form
  • Appeals Procedures Receipt

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. Click here to download the appeals request for extension form. More information about the appeals process can be found here.

Rebuild NC Appeals Team
North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR)
PO Box 110465
Durham, NC 27709
ATTN: NCORR CDBG-DR APPEALS
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 within fifteen (15) days.


FLOOD INSURANCE

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

Low-to-moderate income applicants with a damaged property located in the 100-year floodplain are eligible to receive flood insurance assistance. The Flood Insurance Assistance (FIA) program provides monetary assistance to cover flood insurance premiums for a maximum of 2 years.


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

If your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you will be required to maintain adequate structural flood insurance at ALL times for your home. Homeowners who receive federal disaster assistance for a flood damaged home must purchase and maintain flood insurance coverage on the flood-damaged property for as long as the flood damaged home exists.

If the homeowner sells, donates, or in any other way transfers ownership of the home after receiving federal disaster assistance, they must inform the new owner of the requirement to maintain flood insurance coverage. In most cases, an existing flood insurance policy transfers to a new owner with no lapse in coverage.

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.

Homeowners who receive FIA Program assistance are also required to maintain flood insurance on the damaged property as long as the home exists.


FLOOD INSURANCE ASSISTANCE

What is the Flood Insurance Assistance (FIA) program?

The Flood Insurance Assistance (FIA) program provides up to $2,000 in grant funds for flood insurance premiums to low-to-moderate income individuals for up to two years covering the period of construction and a one-year warranty.


Am I eligible?

All applicants will be evaluated for the FIA program and notified during Step 5 (Grant Determination) of the application process if determined to be eligible for assistance. There is no additional application beyond the ReBuild NC program application.


What are the requirements to be eligible for the FIA program?

To be eligible to receive flood insurance assistance, homeowners must first meet all eligibility requirements for either single-family homeowner rehabilitation and reconstruction (HRR), or manufactured housing repair and replacement (MHRR). In addition to the program eligibility requirements, the FIA program has the following requirements:

  • The homeowner must qualify as LMI (low-to-moderate income), defined as a household with income at 80% area median income (AMI) or below
  • The homeowner must be approved for assistance through either the HRR or MHRR programs
  • The homeowner must be able to purchase the full amount of their flood insurance premium if this amount exceeds the FIA program cap
  • The homeowner must occupy the home as their primary residence for the term of the insurance premium unless they are required to temporarily relocate due to program related construction activities
  • The damaged property must be located in the 100-year floodplain, required to have flood insurance, and insurable
  • The homeowner must agree to maintain flood insurance on the property for as long as the damaged property exists. If the property is sold, donated, or if ownership is transferred in any other way, the homeowner must inform the new owner of that flood insurance coverage must be maintained.
  • Homeowners securing new coverage must agree to list NCORR as an “additional insured” on the flood insurance policy. This does not require to applicants seeking reimbursement.

What is the maximum award I can receive through this program?

The maximum award of Flood Insurance Assistance available is $2,000 towards your flood insurance premium for a period of two years covering the period of construction and one-year warranty.

This amount must cover the lesser of either of the following:

  • The full insurable value of the home, as determined by an insurer
  • The maximum amount available for the home under the National Flood Insurance program

Homeowners with flood insurance premiums that exceed the $2,000 program cap will be responsible for paying the difference.


How does the FIA program payment process work?

Assistance can be obtained two ways, depending on whether the applicant has previously purchased flood insurance, or whether they are securing coverage through a new insurance policy:

  • Applicants securing coverage through a new insurance policy are required to obtain and submit a policy quote to the program. Once the program determines that the coverage meets program guidelines, the program will make payment directly to the insurance carrier.
  • Applicants requesting reimbursement for current insurance that was previously purchased must submit evidence documenting the proof of purchase of insurance in the required amount and duration of coverage required by the program.

What if I cannot obtain flood insurance?

If the damaged property is uninsurable when the homeowner signs their Grant Agreement, the homeowner will be required to provide proof of flood insurance prior to final disbursement.