Section 2 of the act creates the disaster resilience rebuilding program in the division of local government (division) in the department of local affairs. The disaster resilience rebuilding program's purpose is to provide loans and grants to homeowners, owners of residential rental property, businesses, governmental entities, and other organizations working to rebuild after a disaster emergency. The division may contract with a governmental entity, bank, community development financial institution, or other entity to administer the disaster resilience rebuilding program.
The division or an administrator is required to establish policies for administering the disaster resilience rebuilding program, including application requirements, eligibility requirements for applicants, maximum assistance levels, loan terms, equitable outreach, and any specific criteria for the allowable uses of the loans and grants. The division is required to prioritize applicants who demonstrate that their needs cannot be met by other sources of assistance.
Loans and grants may be used to:
- Subsidize costs to repair or rebuild a homeowner's primary residence that are insufficiently covered by the homeowner's insurance or by federal assistance programs, including costs of rebuilding to advanced fire resistance standards and to replant climate ready trees and vegetation;
- Repair or reconstruct housing stock in areas that are experiencing a shortage of available housing by housing authorities and nonprofit organizations working to repair or reconstruct housing stock, or by owners of rental housing who agree to requirements to provide affordable rent or temporary rental assistance to displaced renters;
- Rebuild neighborhoods in a manner intended to resist the impacts of natural disasters;
- Provide operating capital to a business experiencing a loss or interruption of business or to pay to repair or replace damaged business property and inventory;
- Reimburse governmental entities for costs associated with a declared disaster that are not covered by available federal assistance, including infrastructure repairs and replacement of lost revenue; or
- Assist eligible applicants in addressing other related unmet needs as allowed by division policies.
Section 2 also creates the disaster resilience rebuilding program fund. The state treasurer is required to transfer $15 million from the general fund to the fund after the effective date of the act. The money in the fund is continuously appropriated to the division for the rebuilding program.
Section 3 creates the sustainable rebuilding program in the Colorado energy office. The office is required to consult with the department of local affairs in creating the sustainable rebuilding program. The sustainable rebuilding program's purpose is to provide loans and grants to homeowners, owners of residential rental property, and businesses that are rebuilding after a wildfire or other natural disaster to cover costs associated with building high performing, energy efficient, and resilient homes and structures. The office may contract with a governmental entity, Colorado-based nonprofit green bank with history and expertise in providing loans and grants for energy efficiency projects and services, business nonprofit organization, bank, or community development financial institution to administer the sustainable rebuilding program.
The Colorado energy office or an administrator is required to establish policies for administering the sustainable rebuilding program, including application requirements, eligibility requirements for homeowners and businesses, maximum assistance levels, loan terms, equitable outreach, and any specific criteria for the allowable uses of the loans and grants.
The loans and grants may be used to:
- Install high-efficiency heat pumps for heating space or water;
- Achieve advanced energy certifications, including from Energy Star, the Passive House Institute U.S., the United States department of energy zero energy ready homes, or other similar programs;
- Achieve net zero energy or net zero carbon buildings with the addition of renewable energy generation;
- Assist with the costs of installing battery storage and electric vehicle charging stations;
- Cover the incremental costs of building to the most recent energy standard adopted by a local jurisdiction compared to the earlier version of the jurisdiction's energy code; and
- Support other similar uses identified by the office.
The act creates the sustainable rebuilding program fund. The state treasurer is required to transfer $20 million to the fund after the effective date of the act. The money in the fund is continuously appropriated to the office for the sustainable rebuilding program and for development of the disaster survivor portal that may be created as authorized by section 6.
Section 4 creates the office of climate preparedness in the governor's office. The office is required to coordinate disaster recovery efforts for the governor's office and to develop, publish, and implement the statewide climate preparedness roadmap (roadmap).
The office of climate preparedness may establish interagency and intergovernmental task forces and community advisory groups to inform and support the work of the office. The office may promote community engagement and information sharing and further efforts to implement the recommendations of the roadmap.
The office of climate preparedness is required to coordinate the implementation of the roadmap and may establish criteria for evaluating existing programs in all other state agencies to ensure implementation of the roadmap and its governing principles.
No later than December 1, 2023, the office of climate preparedness is required to prepare and publish and, every 3 years thereafter, update the roadmap. The roadmap must integrate and include information from all existing and future state plans that address climate mitigation, adaptation, resiliency, and recovery. The roadmap must build upon this previous body of work, seek to align existing plans, and identify any gaps in policy, planning, or resources. The roadmap must identify strategies for how the state will grow in population and continue to develop in a manner that meets certain goals specified in the act.
Section 5 requires the commissioner of insurance (commissioner) to conduct a study and prepare a report on methods to address the stability, availability, and affordability of homeowner's insurance in Colorado with a focus on stabilizing the market. The commissioner may contract with a third party and is required to consult with stakeholders in completing the study.
Section 6 removes the existing cap on the size of grants that the governor may provide to individuals to meet disaster-related expenses that cannot be met from other means of assistance. Section 6 also requires the office of emergency management to coordinate with the governor's office, federal agencies, and other state and local agencies to ensure that individual disaster assistance is delivered in a coordinated effort. The office of emergency management is authorized to create a disaster survivor portal in collaboration with the department of local affairs and the Colorado energy office. The portal may provide a coordinated method to access individual disaster assistance benefits, including from the disaster resilience rebuilding program and the sustainable rebuilding program.
Section 7 requires the division of fire prevention and control (DFPC) in the department of public safety to establish and maintain a statewide fire dispatch center for rapid responses to wildfires and all-hazard incidents.
Section 8 authorizes the center of excellence within the DFPC to develop and implement a Colorado team awareness kit. Section 8 also requires the transfer of $15,500,000 from the disaster emergency fund to the Colorado firefighting air corps fund for use by the DFPC to implement the statewide fire dispatch center and the team awareness kit and for the leasing of appropriate aviation resources for wildfire suppression. Section 9 requires the transfer of $2,700,000 from the disaster emergency fund to the capital construction fund for use by the DFPC for capital construction related to aviation resources for wildfire suppression.
The $2,700,000 transferred in section 9 is appropriated to the department of public safety in section 12 for capital construction related to aviation resources for wildfire suppression.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)