Hazard Mitigation Loan Administration Should Include Flexibility for Counties

On March 1, 2022, Associate Policy Director D’Paul Nibber submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 814 – Public Safety – Resilient Maryland Revolving Loan Fund – Alterations with amendments. This bill, in part, revises Maryland’s Resilient Maryland Revolving Loan Fund to have county governments provide loans to private property owners for hazard mitigation projects.

From the MACo testimony

SB 814 allows county emergency management offices to submit applications directly to FEMA and be the primary administrator of a hazard mitigation loan. However, the bill is unclear as to whether a county may decide whether to take on this role. Moreover, upon assuming the role of loan administrator, counties are responsible for forgiving loan amounts under certain circumstances ⎯ potentially resulting in substantial losses…

[MACo’s] amendments clarify that counties may opt-in to administering loan programs and, in doing so, will not absorb potentially excessive loan forgiveness costs. With this increased flexibility and support, MACo urges a FAVORABLE WITH AMENDMENTS report for SB 814.