What you need to know to Elevate your home

FIRM advocates for Monroe County residents, businesses and homeowners. We have fought successfully since 2006 against excessive, discriminatory and unaffordable property insurance rates.

Keyswide Home

elevation education

Project

Alison Higgins, the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Key West, Florida, and Caroline Horn, Manager for Fair Insurance Rates for Monroe (FIRM), a local nonprofit, are leading an effort to help homeowners elevate their homes out of the floodplain. Along with their partners, they developed trainings for contractors and homeowners and educational materials that are demystifying the process and increasing knowledge on home elevation. These informational materials help answer questions around costs, methods, barriers, permitting, duration, and financing.

Our partners

Monroe County, Key West, Layton, Marathon, Key Colony Beach, Monroe County Extension Service, Fair Insurance Rates for Monroe

What about funding?

Home elevation and retrofitting is expensive but we will help you find funding sources.

Why this is important

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineeers has identified 10,000 Monroe County properties that should be elevated, retrofitted or acquired to deal with increased flooding.

Who is this for?

Homeowners, contractors and public-private people interested in flood protection.

Explore Elevation in Action

Homeowners throughout the Keys have successfully taken on the challenge of elevating exisiting structures, including several historic homes in Key West. While elevating a home can appear daunting, working with the right contractor and architect can streamline the process. Flip through our book of succesful Key West projects!

Home Elevation Overview

Our 40-minute video workshop offers multiple modules focusing on home elevation, retrofitting your home for flood protection and understanding the process from first steps to gather the needed information and contractor selection to final elevation.

Local Ordinances overview

Flood plain management experts from Layton, Key Colony Beach, Marathon, Key West and Monroe County explain the local ordinances that affect building height restrictions and codes. The video is 35 minutes.

Are you ready

to elevate?

Are you interested in obtaining grant funds to elevate, demolish/reconstruct, or sell your 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?

If so, Monroe County is participating in a national grant program known as Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) to help with these costs.

  • Elevate
  • Demolish/reconstruct
  • Sell

Contractors

These Monroe County contractors have agreed to participate in the Keyswide Home Elevation Education Project:

  • Sweetwater Homes, Big Pine Key – 305-872-9520, Contact Jill at jmahan@swhfla.com or Jessica at Jessica@swhfla.com
  • Scott Tuttle Construction dba Bayview Homes, Islamorada, Plantation/Tavernier, & Key Largo – Contact Jim Saunders,  305-240-0957, jsaunders@bayviewdev.com 
  • Beyond Construction Services, Inc. a Lynk Pros company, covering all of Monroe County, Contact Nancy Perez, 855-596-5776, orders@lynkpros.com
  • Modern Movers, covering all of Monroe County, Contact Jeremy Patterson, 917-635-4678, pattersonmovers@hotmail.com.

Contractors interested in being added to the list should contact Mike Lalbachan at lalbachan-mike@monroecounty-fl.gov
Listings are not endorsements but are provided as a service to applicants. Contractors marked with an asterisk have completed the Home Raising Academy course and have submitted an RFQ to FIRM to be listed on the project website.
Contractors are under no obligation to provide budget assistance for free. Each property owner needs to make their own decisions regarding the relationship between the property owner and Contractor.

Monroe County seal

In Florida, the FMA Program is funded by FEMA and administered through a partnership with FDEM. The Monroe County Land Authority administers the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program

FDEM has the authority and responsibility for developing and maintaining a State Hazard Mitigation Plan, reviewing FMA Program sub-applications (from the County), recommending technically feasible and cost-effective sub-applications to FEMA, and providing pass-thru funding for FEMA-approved and awarded project grants to eligible sub-applicants (again, the County).

Monroe County is a sub-applicant for the FMA Program administered by FDEM on a yearly cycle.

Individual property owners apply for funding through Monroe County. Monroe County is the applicant to the State of Florida. The County reviews all applications and after State review, they are submitted to FEMA for final approval.

This is a competitive process and applicants could be required to submit multiple times.

Each application should include an Elevation Certificate, Flood Insurance Certificate, and photos of the four sides of the building. Additional documents may be requested to complete the application.

If awarded, the County then contracts with the private property owners (applicants) to assist in funding the projects the property owners applied for in the grant cycle.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MONROE COUNTY PROGRAM >>

FEMA

The federal Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program is a competitive program that provides funding to states, federally recognized Tribal governments, U.S. territories, and local governments. Since the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 was signed into law, funds are used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.

FEMA chooses recipients based on the applicant’s ranking of the project, eligibility, and cost-effectiveness of the project.

Learn more about the application process, documentation required and eligibility >>

Calendar with phone

The Flood Mitigation Assistance grant application process usually opens in the fall and closes in late winter. For instance, the current application window opened in October 2023 and closed in February 2024.

You should contact Monroe County for the latest information. You may be able to submit your application in preparation for the next funding window.

Questions about the grant or elevation education programs?

     

    What is the My Safe Florida Home Program?

    Wind Mitigation Home Inspections  All owners of site-built, single-family, residential homes or townhouses are eligible to make application for a wind mitigation home inspection. This inspection will identify those elements of your home’s construction which could be improved to mitigate your home against future wind damages. All inspections will be provided to eligible homeowners free of charge by the State. Applications will be reviewed and approved in the order in which they are received until current funding is exhausted.
    Wind Mitigation Grant awards for home construction (DFS anticipates awarding between 11,000 and 12,000 grants based on current funding.)

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