Storm Relief & FEMA/SBA Financial Assistance Info
A message to the 30+ homeowners who want to lift their houses, 11.15.21
Shortly after the recent devastating storm Ida in early September you reached out indicating that you would like to lift up your home--similar to what was done to some homes on Babbitt Court a decade ago.
As some of you know, we tried arranging a public information session with FEMA reps to share more about the application process to apply for funding to lift homes and what’s realistically possible for us. Instead, FEMA, and the NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) officials they assembled, preferred to meet with town officials first, which we did on Tuesday, November 9th. DHSES shared a Powerpoint presentation as the best method, for now, to begin introducing citizens to this process. We welcome you to review this presentation and we can forward along questions you have to the experts.
We were advised that obtaining a grant to lift homes is very cumbersome and competitive. The current annual grant cycle deadline is this coming Nov. 30 and competition is national. Individuals do not apply on their own; this would requiring applying as a community together. Engineering reports and other specific documentation is extensive for each property. The process could take two years and if successful FEMA will pay for 75% of the costs. What sounded more promising to us than this tight (impossible) deadline in a few weeks for a grant that is tough to compete for on a national scale, would be focusing on the State-wide funding cycle they have coming sometime soon (time yet to be determined) after this. The deadline for the State competitive grants will be released to us when it is available by the DHSES. These grants can be used to buy and tear down homes or lift them, depending on the cost-benefit analysis.
FEMA also advised us that if you lift up your homes before a grant is approved they will not reimburse you. Please also note some of our problem areas would be ineligible for lifting if they are in a floodway. I found the meeting discouraging because there seems to be lots of red tape involved and many obstacles, as you might imagine.
However, since a group effort would be required, I have asked our Commissioner of Public Works Rich Fon to reach out to our consultants and to obtain a proposal so we can help residents apply for the grant as a community collective. Our consultants could also advise us what neighborhoods and homes are most likely to receive the grant.
Thanking you for your patience. We will do whatever we can to help and will keep you informed as we learn more.
**FILE WITH FEMA AID BEFORE NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE OF DEC 6!**
Disaster Recovery Center hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Center will be closed on Sundays.
Public Library, 136 Prospect Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543]
Mobile Center is available in Greenburgh at the Greenburgh Public Library for three days only. Support will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 19, Wednesday Oct. 20 and Thursday Oct. 21. The Greenburgh Public Library is located at 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford.
You can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or use the FEMA mobile app
Or by phone:
Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Lines are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, and operators can connect you to a specialist who speaks your language. If you use a relay service such as 711/VRS (video relay service), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
_Call United Way hotline at 211 for any other storm-related needs/issues
_FEMA may direct you to complete an SBA Loan application at a very low rate (fixed 1.5% interest, up to 30 years) with deferred payment for the first 18 months for up to $200,000 + 20% possible on top of that for additional future needs. If FEMA requests it, you must apply for a loan whether or not you decide to take one, in order to be considered for FEMA aid.
For more information, individuals may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, e-mailing email@example.com or visiting SBA’s website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.
_**Free Legal Assistance Available for People Impacted by the Remnants of Hurricane Ida in New York**
A toll-free legal assistance hotline is available to those affected by the severe storms and flooding caused by Hurricane Ida in September. This service is being provided in partnership with the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other local organizations. Low-income individuals facing legal issues as a result of this disaster may call (888) 399-5459 for help, including:
assistance securing government benefits as they are made available to disaster survivors
assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims
help with home repair contracts and contractors.
replacement of wills and other important legal documents lost or destroyed in the disaster
consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process
counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems; and
counseling on landlord-tenant problems.
_Tarrytown Town Hall Office Hours to be paired with a Storm Relief Angel volunteer assistant to help you file with FEMA/SBA:
Starts Wednesday, Oct 13th 10 am - 12 pm by appointment - firstname.lastname@example.org or 914.989.1540
Info Requested for FEMA Application:
Your address and zip code
Social Security number
Annual income from tax filing
Insurance info, if available (rejection letter, or settlement letter)
Condition of damaged home (photos, video)
Receipts/estimates of work/damages
Address and email
Beware of Fraud:
FEMA warns residents of the risk of fraud and common scams in the wake of the severe storms and flooding. Common post-disaster fraud practices include fake housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid. Residents are urged to ask questions and to require identification when someone claims to represent a government agency.
Those affected should also keep in mind that state and federal workers never ask for or accept money, and always carry identification badges with a photograph. There is no fee required to apply for or to receive disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or the State of New York. Further, no state or federal government disaster assistance agency will call to ask for your financial account information. Unless you place a call to the agency yourself, you should not provide personal information over the phone as it can lead to identity theft.
Those who suspect fraud can call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721. Complaints may also be made to local law enforcement agencies.
Those working with a volunteer from the Greenburgh Storm Relief Angels are asked to sign a waiver, as has the volunteer. If you want to confirm the identity of your volunteer you can contact email@example.com or 914-989-1540.