Could your property benefit from a rain garden, flood barrier, or home elevation?
If you live in Miami Beach, you know that climate change is one of the key factors affecting the city. As a low-lying barrier island built on porous limestone, the city is vulnerable to flood risk, storm surges, increased rainfall, and rising groundwater and sea levels.
The city is helping its residents adapt to these effects of climate change through its Fight The Flood Private Property Adaptation (PPA) Program, a groundbreaking initiative that offers competitive grants to home and property owners.
The program was launched in July of 2022 and offers eligible property owners grants of up to $20,000 in funding for property risk assessments along with the design and construction of flood mitigation improvements such as flood-proofing, home elevation, and green infrastructure.
City Commissioner Laura Dominguez encourages residential and commercial property owners of all incomes across the city to apply – including single-family homeowners, multi-family complexes, and businesses.
“The city has taken steps to help this program be accessible to residents, including those who are low- and moderate-income (LMI). For our LMI residents, no match is required to receive the $20,000 in funding, helping to provide the opportunity to access funding for all who live in Miami Beach,” adds Dominguez.
The program was initiated through the leadership of Mayor Dan Gelber and the City Commission, including late Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who spearheaded the program’s concept and sponsored initial funding for the program. Market research and resident surveys were conducted to bring the program to life.
Funding for sea level rise resiliency has been a focus of MDPL’s own Center for Resiliency and Sustainability, which has held several property owner workshops over the years to help owners prepare for the impacts of climate change.
“The PPA program is a model for fortifying our city’s private infrastructure from the impacts of climate change and storm surges. We look forward to following the program and reporting on its benefits as the projects are implemented,” says MDPL Executive Director Daniel Ciraldo.
The PPA allows the city to continue investing in its public infrastructure through its two phases, says Amy Knowles, the city’s Chief Resilience Officer.
“In Phase 1, consultants conduct site visits to evaluate the needs of the properties, receive input from the owners, and identify projects to reduce flood risk. In Phase 2, property owners enter into agreements with contractors to complete projects,” she explains.
For the program’s first cohort in 2022, 42 applicants throughout the city were accepted and are currently moving forward in the program with onsite flood risk assessments. The proposed projects range from seawall elevation to installing drainage, rain gardens, and raising mechanical equipment.
The City Commission has dedicated $3.3 million to the program, with a resolution to ensure funding through the 2024-2025 fiscal year sponsored by Commissioner Dominguez and passed at the May commission meeting.
“We are seeing an increased number of severe storms and high King Tide events each year that contribute to sea level rise,” says Commissioner Dominguez. “I want to do all I can to help the city move forward with our resilience projects. The City of Miami Beach’s resilience projects and adaptation are our tools for responding to those challenges,” she adds.
“Our coastal city faces considerable flood risk that is expected to grow over time with the effects of climate change and sea level rise,” adds Knowles. “Since 75% of our property is privately owned, it’s important that residents and businesses reduce their own risk. The more we can prepare and protect our properties, the quicker we can bounce back from the next storm or flooding event.”
The application will be open to single-family homes, multi-family complexes, and businesses from February 15th to March 15th, 2024. The application will be accessible by visiting: https://www.mbrisingabove.com/ppa
Informational virtual workshops will be held for residential applicants on February 12th at 6 pm, and February 22nd at 6 pm, with an additional workshop for businesses to be held on February 22nd at 10 am.
Below is a PSA from the 2022 launch of the program: