State storm relief funding now available for Orange County homeowners

Hurricane Ida. Eligible repairs may include repair or replacement of electrical and plumbing systems, furnaces, water heaters, water filtration systems, sump pumps, appliances and remediation of other health hazards, such as testing and clearance costs.

| 17 Nov 2021 | 12:22

    Gov. Kathy Hochul announced this week that up to $2 million in emergency funding will be made available to eligible homeowners in New York, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties impacted by flooding from Hurricane Ida earlier this year who could not access FEMA Individual Assistance funding.

    These new state funds will provide emergency repair grants to homeowners who suffered damage to their primary residence during Ida and cannot safely occupy their homes.

    “New Yorkers are still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Ida,” Hochul said in the press release announcing the funding. “We have been working swiftly to provide emergency assistance, and will continue to help eligible homeowners restore and rebuild their lives.”

    The grant funds cover damage incurred at a primary residence for homeowners who meet the program’s income guidelines. New York State Homes and Community Renewal will oversee the program which will be administered by four locally based, non-profit organizations with existing HCR contracts for similar housing rehabilitation programs.

    What can be repaired

    Funding from this program will be limited to an individual’s primary residence, households earning up to 200% of Orange County’s average median income (AMI). Homeowners can apply now to receive funding to cover the cost of emergency repairs necessary to bring their home into a safe and habitable condition.

    “Long after the storm passed, many communities and neighborhoods impacted by Ida remain in disarray and many homes are damaged to the point of being unsafe or uninhabitable,” HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said. “We will be able to help residents safely return to their homes without worrying if their plumbing, electricity, or other necessities pose a danger.”

    Call centers

    To assist homeowners, HCR has established a call center through the Center for New York City Neighborhoods whereby homeowners who live in the five targeted counties and who want to apply for the program can complete a pre-eligibility screening and be referred to a participating program administrator in their area.

    The program administrators who will review and process applications are RUPCO, serving Ulster and Sullivan Counties; Putnam County Housing Corporation, serving Putnam County; Orange County Rural Development Advisory Corporation, serving Orange County, and Rebuilding Together NYC, serving New York County.

    Residents who live in the impacted counties should contact the call center at (646) 786-0888.

    Bipartisan support

    State Sen. James Skoufis, Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney all lauded the announcement as long overdue.