Grant Information

Tornado Safe Room Rebate Grant

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program

Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP)

Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) and Economic Development Program

Enterprise Zone Program

Community Reinvestment Area Program

Safe Room Rebate Program

For Immediate Release: January 6, 2020

Ohio EMA Offers Rebates to Homeowners for Tornado Safe Rooms

Application Period Opens Today, Runs Through April 6

COLUMBUS — Homeowners throughout Ohio now have the opportunity to apply to receive reimbursement for the purchase and construction/installation of a tornado safe room inside or outside their homes.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency began accepting applications for its Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program today. A safe room is a structure specifically designed to provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events. The Ohio EMA’s rebate program provides a rebate of up to 75 percent to homeowners selected for the program. 

"The entire state of Ohio is vulnerable to tornadoes,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Safe rooms are costly, but they can save lives – which is why we want to help homeowners with the expense.”

In May, more than 900 homes and buildings were destroyed or significantly damaged when 21 tornadoes tore through Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry, and Pickaway counties.

“Safe rooms offer protection to a tornado’s strong winds and resulting airborne debris and provides near-absolute protection for occupants,” said Steve Ferryman, Ohio EMA mitigation branch chief. “We urge Ohioans to apply for these grants.”

This is the eighth year for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program. To date, more than $1.5 million in rebates have been awarded to homeowners for the construction of more than 200 safe rooms across the state.

Safe rooms can be constructed/installed in one of several places in the home, including in the basement; beneath a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage floor; or in an interior room on the first floor. A safe room may also be buried in the yard or be a stand-alone structure near the home.

The deadline to apply to participate in the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program is April 6 at 5 p.m.

Residents selected for the program are eligible for a rebate up to 75 percent of the cost to install or construct a safe room – up to a maximum of $4,875.

For more information and to apply, visit:

Additional Information: The Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program will use a computerized random selection process to select applicants. A priority list of applicants will be created from the selected applicants. Chosen homeowners will be notified by email of their position on the priority list on or after April 22. Ohio EMA anticipates grant funding will become available this year and having a list of participants who meet program requirements will expedite the rebate process.

Funding for the rebate program is through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs. Ohio homeowners would be responsible for 25 percent of the construction costs and any additional costs over the 75 percent maximum rebate of $4,875.

Safe rooms must meet FEMA requirements in FEMA publications 320 and 361 and cannot be constructed/installed prior to the rebate drawing and notification from Ohio EMA to proceed with construction. Ohio EMA plans to offer this rebate program on an annual basis. 

Homeowners with questions should call Ohio Emergency Management Agency Mitigation Specialist Dan Clevidence at 614.799.3533.

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For additional information, contact:

Jay Carey at (614) 799-3695

Comunity Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)

The CDBG formula allocation program provides funding for various projects throughout the county for activities such as housing rehabilitation, economic development and public works improvements that meet federal and state objectives to benefit low-and moderate-income persons and/or eliminate blighted areas. The County must justify to the State how each activity is eligible to receive Community Development Block Grant Program funds and meets a national objective. Formula Allocation Program grant recipients are required to develop a Community Assessment Strategy (CAS) to identify the type and degree of community development needs within areas of low- and moderate-income concentration or distress areas.

Previous CDBG Activities

Best Bid Criteria Form for Seneca County

Best Bid Criteria Form Renewal for Seneca County



Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP)

Seneca County was awarded the CHIP for the FY 09.  This program will continue through October 31, 2011.  The activities included in this round are Private Rehabilitation for low and very-low income homeowners;  Home/Building Repair for very-low income homeowners; and Foreclosure Assistance for the homeowner's primary residence.  Please see the brochure below for additional information.

Community Housing Improvement Program brochure



Revolving Loan Fund and Economic Development Program

 The Revolving Loan Fund and the Economic Development Program provide funds to units of local government to provide gap financing for local business development. The goal of the programs are to create and retain permanent, private sector job opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons, through the expansion and retention of business and industry in Seneca County.

View RLF Guidelines

Download RLF Application


Enterprise Zone Program

Enterprise Zones are designated areas of land in which businesses can receive tax incentives in the form of tax exemptions on eligible new investments. Enterprise Zones serve as an economic development tool for Seneca County to assist in retaining and expanding the economic base.


Community Reinvestment Area Program

Community Reinvestment Areas are areas of land in which property owners can receive tax incentives for investing in real property improvements. The Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) Program is a direct incentive tax exemption program benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings. This program permits Seneca County to designate areas where investment has been discouraged as a CRA to encourage revitalization of the existing housing stock and the development of new structures.


Seneca Regional Planning Commission
71S. Washington St. Suite 1104
Tiffin, Ohio, 44883

Phone: (419)443-7936


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