Frequently Asked Questions:

Who do I contact if I have questions about the program?

You can contact the Shore Up CT Program at the Housing Development Fund by e-mail or by phone from Monday to Friday, 9-5pm. Our e-mail is info@shoreupct.org or you can call us at (203) 969-1830 Ext. 2011.

How do I know if my property is eligible for a loan under this program?

If your property is located in Flood Zone VE or AE as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NFIP and you live in a CT coastal community you may apply for this loan. Property eligibility includes primary and secondary single family homes, 1-4 unit owner-occupied rentals or businesses.

Coastline municipalities are: Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, West Haven, New Haven, East Haven, Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Waterford, New London, Groton, and Stonington.

What are the eligible use of funds?

See Eligible Uses of Funds Link on the Resources page here.

How high do I need to elevate my property under this program?

Proposed residential elevation projects must elevate to meet the 500-year Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus one additional elevation foot of freeboard.

Proposed commercial elevation projects must elevate to meet the 100-year Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus one additional elevation foot of freeboard.

How do I calculate the 500-year flood height for my property?

See Calculating the 500-year Flood Height Elevation link on the Resources page.

What is the Base Flood Elevation?

Base Flood Elevation identifies how high the water is likely to rise (also called water surface elevation) in a base flood. The base flood is a flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. Base Flood Elevations are shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) and on the flood profiles.

The land area of the base flood is called the Special Flood Hazard Area, floodplain, or high-risk zone.

What types of permits do I need to elevate my house?

Shore Up CT projects will need to be “shovel-ready.” This means that the following permits must obtained by each applicant:

  • Local zoning approval and building permits
  • State reviews where applicable based site conditions trigger this jurisdiction.
  • Shore Up CT required Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Flood Management Certification.
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) review if your structure is more than 50 years old or if Native American historical sites are in close proximity to the construction site.
What type of insurance do I need to have on my property to apply for a loan?

You must maintain flood, property, and hazard insurance for the life of the loan. Homeowners must have builder’s risk insurance or course of construction rider.

What if I need to change my contractor during the elevation construction or my construction budget changes?

You must notify the Housing Development Fund in writing if you change contractors during the construction project.

I am having technical difficulties with the website. How do I contact technical support for assistance?

Please call the Shore Up CT telephone number at (203) 969-1830 Ext. 2011 should you experience difficulty with the website or email info@shoreupct.org.

How do I determine if my property is located within a Coastal AE or VE zone?

Your property’s location in a flood zone can be determined by reviewing a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). FIRMS are located in your local town or city offices or can be viewed online at FEMA’s Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov/portal.

What is a FEMA Elevation Certificate and how do I obtain a FEMA Elevation certificate?

An elevation certificate is an official FEMA form completed by a licensed land surveyor and is an important tool that documents your property’s elevation. You may go to the CT Association of Land Surveyors website at http://ctsurveyors.org/ to find a surveyor in your area. Click on the “Find a Surveyor” link. Please note that you may want to select a multi-disciplinary surveying and engineering firm as your project will require the services of both types of professionals. The fee for an elevation certificate will vary depending on your property size and the firm that you select.

There are three different FEMA elevation certificates required for a Shore Up Loan. There is a Pre-Construction Elevation Certificate, During Construction Elevation Certificate, and a Post Construction Elevation Certificate required for this program

What is a FIRM or FIRMette? How do I obtain one?

A FIRM is a Flood Insurance Rate Map. A FIRM offers much useful information and represents the official depiction of flood hazards for a community. FIRMs can be viewed at your local town offices or online at the FEMA Map Service Center website at https://msc.fema.gov/portal. You may also order copies of the effective FIRM by calling the FEMA Map Information eXchange toll-free at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627). A FIRMette is a snap shot of a portion of the full FIRM map that can be saved as a pdf that can be created through the FEMA Map Service Center website. When created via this website, it is considered an official FEMA flood map. The FIRMette is true to scale and includes title block, scale, and north arrow. It can be used to help determine the location of a property or structure relative to the Special Flood Hazard Area.

Approximately what amount of financing will I qualify for based on my income?

Please fill out a request for information form on the Shore Up CT website (www.shoreupct.org) and select the request for pre-qualification button. A loan officer with Shore Up CT’s Fund Manager, Housing Development Fund, will contact you shortly to determine your eligible financing amount. The minimum Shore Up CT loan is $10,000 and the maximum loan amount is $300,000 per property.

What does it mean to be pre-qualified for financing? Is it an approval or commitment? Is it subject to change?

Pre-qualification is an estimate based on limited information at a particular point in time and is meant only to provide preliminary guidance.

Are projects in various stages of completion eligible for financing?

Refinancing of completed property elevation projects done after October 29, 2012 may also be eligible. These projects must have been completed and financed prior to July 28th, 2014.

Are any business uses or commercial building sizes precluded from financing under this program?

The program does not currently set a cap on project size. However all elevation projects cannot increase the existing building footprint.

Is there an approved list of general contractors, engineering firms or design architects available for my consideration, or from which from which I must choose?

The Housing Development Fund does not provide potential contractor lists. However, it is recommended that applicants check references for all design professionals and contractors. The State Department of Housing also maintains a list of prequalified general contractors, which is available online.

What types of flood-proofing improvement projects/ costs qualify for new financing, or refinancing of a completed project under this program?

For structures that cannot be elevated, property owners can apply for financing for retrofitting for flood protection and wind-proofing without elevation. A structural engineer must certify that the property cannot feasibly be elevated to be eligible for these elevation alternatives.

What types of wind-proofing improvement projects/costs qualify for new financing, or refinancing of a completed project under this program?

Wind-proofing activities will only be financed if retrofitting for flood protection activities are included in the project scope. Shore Up CT can only cover the wind-proofing projects for permanent storm shutters and strengthening vents and soffits.

Can I act as General Contractor for improvements to my own property?

Yes – although all insurance requirements for General Contractors must still be met including: General Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 combined single limit per occurrence for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage. Coverage shall include premises and operation, independent contractors, product and completed operations and contractual liability. Workers’ Compensation is also required in compliance with compensation laws of the State of Connecticut. General Contractors are also recommended to have Cargo Insurance in the amount of $250,000 if project involves home elevation. This Cargo Insurance can be provided directly from subcontractor responsible for home elevation.

My project is currently underway. Must I be aware of any requirements so as to qualify for refinancing when my project is completed?

Yes – if your elevation project is under construction, it must be designed to meet the 500 year flood height plus 1 ft height requirement in order to qualify for the Shore Up CT program and complete the full application process for a new project.