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Flood Recovery

Property Buyouts/Hazard Mitigation
in Cheltenham Township


In response to recent flooding associated with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, Cheltenham Township is helping property owners in the community explore possible voluntary buyouts and other hazard mitigation efforts. Buyouts/mitigations may be funded under two programs coordinated through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which are listed below.



The Township must submit information on behalf of property owners.  Applications will not be accepted from entities other than the Township. Submitting an application does not ensure that the project will obtain approval.


1. Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL)


The SRL grant program provides funding to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to severe repetitive loss structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The goal is to reduce or eliminate claims under the NFIP through project activities that will result in the greatest savings to the NFIP.


To qualify for SRL, a residential property must already be covered under an NFIP policy and:


(A)  Have at least four NFIP claims’ payments (including building and contents) over $5,000 each, and the cumulative amount of such claims’ payments exceeds $20,000;




(B)  Have at least two separate claims’ payments (building payments only) with the cumulative amount of the building portion of such claims exceeding the market value of the building.


For both (A) and (B) above, at least two of the referenced claims must have occurred within any ten-year period and must be greater than 10 days apart.


2. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)


HMGP is available, when authorized under the Presidential major disaster declaration, in the areas of the State requested by the Governor. The amount of HMGP funding available to the applicants is based upon the total Federal assistance to be provided by FEMA for disaster recovery under the major disaster declaration.


What types of projects can be funded by the HMGP?
HMGP funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem: for example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project's potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage. Examples of projects include, but are not limited to:


·        Acquisition of real property for willing sellers and demolition or relocation of buildings to convert the property to open space use.

·        Retrofitting structures and facilities to minimize damages from high winds, earthquake, flood, wildfire, or other natural hazards, such as elevation of flood-prone structures.

·        Development and initial implementation of vegetative management programs.

·        Minor flood control projects that do not duplicate the flood prevention activities of other Federal agencies.

·        Localized flood control projects, such as certain ring levees and floodwall systems, that are designed specifically to protect critical facilities.

·        Post-disaster building code related activities that support building code officials during the reconstruction process.



PLEASE NOTE: The Township must submit information on behalf of property owners.  Applications will not be accepted from entities other than the Township. Cheltenham Emergency Management will compile a list of property owners who are interested in the above programs and forward it to the PEMA Bureau of Hazard Mitigation. PEMA will assess the applications submitted and choose projects based upon selective criteria and available funding.  Submitting an application does not ensure that the project will obtain approval.


Property owners interested in either the voluntary acquisition or hazard mitigation programs should complete the form and send it to:


Cheltenham Township Emergency Management

Attn: Kimberly Kirschner

8230 Old York Road

Elkins Park, PA 19027

[email protected]


For more information, visit the PEMA website at To contact Cheltenham Township Emergency Management, call 267-901-4043.

FEMA Guide
Homeowners Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways To Protect Your House From Flooding
Cheltenham Township   ~   8230 Old York Road   ~   Elkins Park, PA 19027
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-4:30PM
Phone: 215-887-1000   ~   Fax: 215-887-1561
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