San Francisco PUC increases reimbursement to $100K for flood proofing structures for property owners

By on January 10, 2018

In anticipation of this year’s winter storms, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) recently announced an increase in funds they can reimburse eligible property owners for structures to help protect against potential flooding. The increased funds are part of the city’s flood resilience strategy, Rain Ready SF.

The new version of the ups the funds to reimburse eligible property owners – both commercial and residential property owners – for up to $100,000 from last year’s $30,000. SFPUC overhauled the Floodwater Management Grant Program with owner affordability and resources in mind.

“As a City, we are committed to providing our residents with as many resources as possible to adapt to the changing climate,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly. “This additional funding will provide more property owners with an opportunity to take a holistic approach to protecting their homes and businesses from the risk of flooding during major rainstorms. We will continue to work with our residents to develop new and innovative ways to reduce the risk of flooding.”

Grant funding for qualified applicants can be dispersed in installment payments in order to help property owners who may need to make major improvements but don’t have the financial means to pay for the entire project all at once. These real estate owners can receive funds during construction to correspond with the need to pay contractors. Additionally, owner-occupied homes approved for the program may now qualify for coverage of 90 percent of their flood proofing project’s costs, up from 80 percent in the earlier version of the program.

In order to better assist applicants of flood proofing projects identify qualified and skilled contractors, the SFPUC has begun compiling a databank of contractors and professionals experienced with flood proofing projects. The city’s PUC posted a Solicitation of Interest (SOI) on its website in November seeking contractors and engineers who were interested in being included in the city’s list of qualified personnel for flood proofing projects. The SOI asks contractor and engineers interest in to program to complete an application summarizing their relevant experience for flood proofing projects.

Although the city will be making the list of qualified personnel available to property owners who are awarded grants, property owners will be responsible for directly hiring their own contractors and/or engineers to perform the projects on their private properties. SFPUC will provide financial assistance to qualified property owners to off-set the cost of the flood proofing projects but will not assume any role in property owners hiring contractors/engineers to perform the projects on their private properties

Contractors and engineers seeking to be included on SFPUC’s list are strongly encouraged to attend an informational meeting regarding the SOI scheduled for January 30th, 2018 at 10:00 AM to be held at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, 2nd Floor in San Francisco. The list is intended to serve as a resource for grant applicants and ease the process of implementing a grant-funded project on their properties to reduce flood risk.

The SFPUC approved an increase to the Floodwater Management Grant Program’s budget for this year from $200,000 to $1.75 million, and recommended $2 million per year for the next two fiscal years. Property owners can apply for the Floodwater Management Grant Program online at www.sfwater.org/floodwatergrants. The webpage also includes a list of flood proof project concept examples. Applicants are encouraged to work with their engineer and/or contractor to identify the appropriate project type for their property.