The City of Hialeah and the National Flood Insurance Program require that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, additions or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50 percent of the building’s market value during a five-year period, the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. This includes elevating the lowest floor to current standards. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards.
The basic types of improvements are rehabilitations or reconstructions and lateral or vertical additions that may or may not increase square footage.
Rehabilitation or reconstruction would be a partial or complete “gutting” and replacement of internal workings and may or may not include structural changes. If this action is substantial, i.e., over 50 percent of the structure’s market value, it is considered new construction, and the entire building must be elevated to or above the design flood elevation (DFE). For non-residential structures, another option to elevating is flood-proofing the building to the DFE. The insurance will be actuarial insurance and the structure will be considered a Post-FIRM building; i.e., subsidized insurance will no longer be available. Rehabilitations, like additions and repair of damage, represent investment and reinvestment in flood hazard areas that, if not protected, are at serious risk of flooding.