Southeast
Alex Harris / Miami Herald

FL - Miami Beach Wants to Help Homeowners Adapt to Sea Level Rise With Matching Grants

Miami Beach is exploring a way to help residents cover the cost of floodproofing their properties from heavy rains and high tides made even higher by sea level rise — at least a little.

The city is considering offering residents matching grants of up to $20,000 for projects like installing flood panels, swapping out a driveway for permeable pavement or planting absorbent landscaping — all simple ways to cut down on flooding.

Other cities and states offer help for residents trying to adapt to climate change in the form of loans or federal cash, but Miami Beach’s proposal would stand alone in offering city money to homeowners as a grant.

“I believe this is a major step forward for our overall resilience program,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the resolution. “We want to see this happen in our community. It’s right for our residents and it’s also in the long-term interest of the city.”

The program won’t be up and running until late 2021 or early 2022, after the city sets up a dedicated funding source and a process for applying for and awarding the grants.

The initial funding, up to $666,666.66 a year, comes from an old agreement with Miami-Dade County to pool cash for sea level rise projects. The city renamed it the Miami Beach Resilience Fund at a November meeting. The final grant rules would still require city commission approval.

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