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Keyswide Home Elevation Education Project

If you are interested in learning more and receiving updates as the project progresses, please sign up using the form to the right.
If you’ve considered elevating but didn’t because of too many obstacles, we want to hear from you too. One of the goals is to eliminate those stumbling blocks. 



Project Goal

By FIRM Pressroom | February 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Project Goal

The City of Key West and its Partners are collaborating to help homeowners elevate their homes out of the floodplain. We are doing this by helping them think through all the aspects of home elevation including, cost, savings, methods, barriers, permitting, duration and financing.

In the end, we will offer interested homeowners the chance to band together to request special pricing for bundling mobilization costs.

There is no obligation to elevate and homeowners can opt out at any time.



FEMA grant presentation at October 5 Key West Commission meeting

By FIRM Pressroom | October 5, 2021 |

Christine Hurley, Executive Director of the Monroe County Land Authority, is giving a presentation to the Key West City Commission on October 5, 2021, regarding FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program. Monroe County is participating in the national grant program known as Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA). The grant funds will help to elevate or demolish or reconstruct home in the County. The program funds can also assist with homeowners selling their home that is below base flood elevation, at risk of flooding, or has flooded before with a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance claim.

Property owners throughout Monroe County and the municipalities may participate.

Click here to see the meeting agenda which includes links to the FMA program information and the application itself.

For more information contact Mike Lalbachan, Monroe County Mitigation Administrator, at lalbachan-mike@monroecounty-fl.gov or 305-453-8796.

FEMA posts funding notices for hazard mitigation grant programs

By FIRM Pressroom | August 12, 2021 |
image of 2 people building a bridge

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)  provides funds to states, local communities, tribes and territories for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness. These programs fund projects that invest in a more resilient nation, reduce disaster suffering and avoid future disaster costs.

The application period opens on Sept. 30 and the funding notices are available on Grants.gov.

This year’s BRIC grant amount is $1 billion. BRIC’s guiding principles have been revised to reduce future losses and promote equity, including prioritizing assistance that benefits disadvantaged communities as referenced in line with the administration’s Justice40 Initiative. Scoring criteria for the competitive grant program has been adjusted to incentivize mitigation actions that consider climate change and future conditions, populations impacted and economically disadvantaged rural communities.

FMA’s grant amount this year is $160 million. FMA will use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index as a selection factor in its competitive scoring process. This means underserved populations will receive more points for projects that benefit their communities.

Monroe County is participating in this grant program.  For more information about how you can be included in the County’s application, contact Monroe County’s Mitigation Administrator Mike Lalbachan.

FEMA is also conducting a series of webinars about the FMA program. The webinars bring FEMA subject-matter experts and partners together to provide technical information, best practices, tools and resources regarding these grant programs. They are designed for leaders in states, local communities, tribes and territories, as well as private sector entities, private non-profit organizations, and individuals interested in learning more about the BRIC and FMA grant programs and strategies for how to apply for them.  The webinars are free, but registration is required.  All sessions will be recorded and, once available, posted on FEMA.gov

FEMA provides additional hazard mitigation funds

By FIRM Pressroom | June 22, 2021 |

FEMA is providing mitigation assistance to homeowners to help them rebuild their homes stronger following disaster damage, as part of the agency’s commitment to make communities stronger and increase resilience from the impacts of climate change.

The additional funding will help eligible homeowners in areas covered by presidential disaster declarations repair their homes in ways that will reduce the likelihood of future disaster damage.

Homeowners who are approved for home repair assistance through the agency’s Individuals and Households Program may receive additional funds for several mitigation measures. Funding for mitigation measures will be awarded for owner-occupied primary residences with specific damaged items and causes of damage. This additional assistance is available for all disasters declared on or after May 26, 2021. FEMA will notify applicants if they have received mitigation funds as part of their assistance.

Because disasters can happen unexpectedly, taking steps to strengthen, repair and rebuild is vital for community and personal resilience. The following mitigation measures may now be covered for eligible applicants:

  • Repairing a roof to withstand higher wind speed and help prevent water infiltration.
  • Elevating a water heater or furnace to avoid future flood damage.
  • Elevating or moving an electrical panel to avoid future flood damage.

These measures will allow homeowners to rebuild in ways that make their homes more resilient to severe weather events, reducing disaster suffering and the likelihood future federal assistance will be needed.

Home Raising Academy Certification

By FIRM Pressroom | February 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Home Raising Academy Certification

Contractors are currently signing up for the Home Raising Academy to be held February 23-24 and March 2-3. Certification in the academy will be a requirement for participation in the Project.

The grant funding is paying for local government folks in the various building departments to attend the Home Raising Academy as well. When it comes time to review plans and apply for permits, your contractors and local government officials will be on the same page.

The Project Team is also finalizing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). This way homeowners will know that the contractors who are participating in the project have the skills and experience to manage a home elevation project.


Keyswide Home Elevation Workshops

By FIRM Pressroom | June 15, 2021 |

How much can you save on insurance if you elevate your house?

How much will it cost to elevate your house?

What funding is available to help elevate your house?

How high can you elevate your home?

These answers and more at the upcoming Home Elevation Workshop Webinars!

The Keyswide Home Elevation Project will offer five, free, virtual workshops in June for homeowners interested in elevating their homes to accommodate sea level rise and increased flooding.

The virtual workshops will each feature a different building official from Key Colony Beach, Key West, Layton, Marathon and Monroe County. The pre-recorded modules touch on the topics of why you should elevate, the steps to elevation, other floodproofing methods, and funding options.

Complete the form below to register and receive the Zoom meeting details. All workshops will be recorded and available for viewing on line.


Home Raising Academy for Contractors

By FIRM Pressroom | February 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Home Raising Academy for Contractors

Home Raising Academy for Contractors- February 23-24 and March 3-4, 2021

The Home Raising Academy provides training in home elevations for owners and employees at general contracting companies.

The Home Raising Academy courses address multiple topics that will result in safer, more efficient execution of home raising projects.

Each class consists of four two-hour training sessions via Zoom scheduled in the evening. Upon successful completion of the HRA, a contractor will receive a Certification of Completion. Certification is a requirement for contractors who are participating in the Keyswide Home Elevation Project.


FEMA Guides

By FIRM Pressroom | June 22, 2021 |

In module 2 of the Home Elevation workshop we covered methods of retrofitting.  Retrofitting is making changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding or other hazards.  FEMA has produced two publications that are the source of the information provided in the workshop.  The Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting and Above the Flood: Elevating your Floodprone House are available in PDF form.  Both publications are large, so if you would like a hard copy, contact the FIRM office.

Elevate Before it’s too Late

By FIRM Pressroom | February 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Elevate Before it’s too Late

In February 2020 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) presented its initial plan for coastal resilience to the Monroe county commissioners. The Corps has identified over 10,000 properties in Monroe County for elevation, acquisition, or floodproofing.

Folks in the Florida Keys are taking steps towards resiliency by elevating their homes.  But it’s a lot to take in. We’ll be giving you a ton of information, and we’ll all learn more as we go.

This flyer created by the International Association of Structural Movers is a great place to start.

International Assn. of Structural Movers Flyer



The project partners have created summaries of a handful of elevations that have occurred in our community to help familiarize homeowners with the actualities of home elevation. We will continue to add summaries as we research more elevation projects. To view the summaries, click on the photos. If you would like to submit your project to be added, please email info@firmkeys.org to set up an interview.

813 Waddell St.

5 Hunts Lane

5 Hunt's Lane Before

533 Petronia 533 Petronia on cribbing

920 Eisenhower Dr.

920 Eisenhower before photo


1621 Steven Dr.1621 Steven during elevation

2408 Linda Dr.

2408 Linda before two views

1402 Johnson St.