Last week we showed you how singer Beyonce Knowles and her father Matthew Knowles were able to get a $425,000 reimbursement for one of their homes in Galveston, Texas that was damaged by Hurricane Ike.
The infamous agency affiliated with Hurricane Katrina, FEMA, was the one doing the refunding and this is how it went down:
FEMA has something called the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), which “provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration.” It was originally created to “reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters.”
Now who’s eligible for the program?
- State and local governments
- Indian tribes or other tribal organisations
- Certain non-profit organisations
- Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however a community may apply on their behalf.
So individuals aren’t supposed to get special treatment, and yet FEMA only “acquired” 68 homes in the area, with Knowles’ home being one of the last four added, according to KHOU.
But as the details of the program continue on, they become a little more subjective to how you interpret them. For instance, FEMA can use funds to purchase/protect “public or private property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage.”
If you go back and look at the slideshow we did of Beyonce’s neighbourhood, you can see that her neighbourhood, Pirates Beach, is pretty nice and right on the beach. Reports say that the beach will be widened to guard property from future disasters, meaning that Beyonce’s house may fit the criteria stated above.
Basically, FEMA words its agreements very broadly, so pretty much anything goes in this case. Below, a copy of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Fact Sheet for your review.
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