Wise County residents looking for a good deal on a safe room might have a new option beginning Saturday.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) will open an online waiting list for the Metro Safe Room Rebate Program at 8 a.m. Saturday for Wise County residents. The rebates use Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants to rebate customers up to 50 percent of the storm shelter costs up to $3,000 for applicants who meet certain criteria.
The criteria for applicants include:
- Living or developing in one of the 16 counties in NCTCOG (which includes Wise);
- Being the homeowner (contractors or developers may apply but are capped at three safe rooms)
- Not living or developing in a 100-year floodplain or listed in the Special Flood Hazard Area; and
- Contracting with a National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) or American Tornado Association certified supplier.
Eligible structures include manufactured homes (must own structure and land), single family homes and new construction of single-family homes. Eligible safe rooms include in-ground/above ground and indoors and outdoors.
All applicants must be pre-approved prior to entering into contract or construction of a safe room. Once the safe room is completed, it must be inspected before the applicant is eligible for the rebate.
NCTCOG first opened the program to residents of Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Applications were accepted online beginning at 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, and by 5:30 a.m., the organization had already received double the amount of applications that could be funded with the initial $1.4 million that was available.
Due to the high demand, NCTCOG decided to open the program to all 16 counties. Waiting list sign-ups began last Friday with Collin County and are continuing with one or two counties each day in alphabetical order. Once the waitlist is open, it will not close.
The organization hopes the waiting list will show the need for more federal funding. If NCTCOG does receive additional funding, applicants on the list will be notified on a first-come, first-served basis. The notification process is expected to last anywhere from three to 18 months.
Visit www.nctsaferoom.com for more information and to join the waiting list beginning Saturday.