County seeking those not reimbursed for Matthew damages

Published 11:42 am Saturday, February 3, 2018

Up to $1 million is available to Beaufort County homeowners who suffered damages from Hurricane Matthew.

Beaufort County Emergency Management and Mid-East Commission are alerting county residents that the money is potentially available for any wind or flood damages sustained during the October 2016 hurricane.

“The damage to their property or home has to be directly tied to Matthew. We have to be able to document that. There has to be a paper trail,” said Lisa Williams, with BCEM.

There are few requirements for application to this Community Development Block Grant that comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is provided for disaster recovery. The primary requirement is that damages must have been documented at the time, whether by FEMA registry, an insurance claim or a homeowner having a contractor assess the damage after Oct. 16.

Williams said she is actively looking for those who could be eligible.

“This is the county and the Mid-East Commission’s effort to try to identify anybody in the county that has a Matthew-related need,” Williams said. “I really don’t think there’s going to be many, but this is our chance to try to flush anybody out of the bushes that we don’t know about. If you flooded in Matthew, I know where you are, but if you had wind-related damages, I may not know that.”

Williams is working with Kevin Richards, director of planning, economic development and community services at Mid-East Commission, and Eliud De Jesus, another planner with Mid-East, on the grant preparation and administration. Unlike FEMA funding, Community Development Block Grant funds usually comes 18-24 months after a disaster, because the state has to present a need to Congress, and Congress must approve the funds. While the county had less damage than other areas of eastern North Carolina, it is still eligible for up to $1 million of a total grant amount of $8 million.

“Beaufort County was not that heavily impacted by Matthew, but because we were in the group of counties, some of those counties were heavily impacted, so we’re kind of on the coattails,” Williams said. “Fortunately, Beaufort County dodged the bullet, but because we’re a Tier 2 county, we can find the people who were affected by it, especially the uninsured.”

Programs available through the Community Development Block Grant are:

  • Single-family homeowner rehabilitation: For damages that equal or total less than 50 percent of the home’s pre-disaster value, grants of up to $53,000 may be available;
  • Single-family homeowner reconstruction: For damages that total 51 percent or more of the home’s pre-disaster value, grants of up to $125,000 per household may be available to reconstruct the home (all other options, including elevating the building, must have been exhausted)
  • Housing repair reimbursement: Grants of up to $25,000 may be available to reimburse homeowners for out-of-pocket costs spent repairing damaged homes between Oct. 8, 2016 and Oct. 8, 2017.
  • Homeowner buyout: Properties that were heavily damaged may be eligible for buyout—a program intended to address properties not included in FEMA buyout programs.
  • Mobile home repair: Grants of up to $15,000 for damages that total up to 50 percent of the pre-disaster value may be available after inspection. The mobile home must need at least $1,000 in repairs.
  • Mobile home replacement: Grants of up to $75,000 may be available for mobile homes that had damage of 50 percent or more of the pre-disaster value.
  • Homeowner assistance: This program is designed to help families relocate to higher ground who submitted their home into FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program or HUD Buyout program.
  • Small rental assistance: Provides assistance to landlords whose rental units experienced major to severe damage and have not been repaired.
  • Multi-family rental assistance: May provide gap financing to repair majorly or severely damaged rental housing in the most impacted communities, and may create new multi-family affordable housing for low-moderate income renters in the most impacted areas.


Williams said second homes, rental residences and vacation properties are not eligible for any funding, and with any assistance for mobile homes, the mobile-home owner must also own the property where the home is located. There can be no duplicated assistance — while people can apply who received some money, but less than the total cost of damage, from FEMA, the amount of the FEMA funds will be subtracted from the CDBG funding.

Property owners need to apply by Feb. 28, Williams said. Those applying should bring the following items to the application appointment: proof of income, proof of ownership, personal ID, a copy of a utility bill dated prior to Oct. 16, 2016 to show the property was occupied when Hurricane Matthew hit, receipts for repairs that were done, proof of payment on any work that was completed and any insurance policies or proof of loss. She said applicants should bring any existing photos of damage, as well.

“Typically, it takes four visits to complete the applications,” Williams said.

“We encourage anyone to call us as soon as possible,” Richards added.

For more information, call 211 or call Williams at 252-946-2046.