Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that FEMA will issue Emergency Assistance for New Yorkers whose homes were affected by Hurricane Sandy. At the Governor’s request, FEMA will bring in contractors in order to perform basic repairs so that residents can return to their homes while more long term repairs are in progress. Only residents in the federally-declared declared counties are eligible to participate in this program. Homeowners in these localities who want to apply for assistance should contact their county or local officials to receive contractor support. Homeowners must be registered with FEMA, which they can do by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).
FEMA has developed a two-step approach to helping individuals make necessary repairs to their homes. They will use the newly developed Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program in conjunction with the existing Individuals and Households Program (IHP) in order to keep individuals in their homes, therefore avoiding the need to find long term sheltering or housing solutions. These programs can be accessed by individuals at the same time; participation in one does not preclude individuals from participating in the other.
“When Hurricane Sandy hit our state, New Yorkers saw their homes severely damaged or completely destroyed,” said Governor Cuomo. “Now it is time to restore and rebuild these homes, and help people get back in their homes in time for winter. The FEMA assistance will make a big difference as we continue New York’s long term recovery. I thank FEMA for their continued partnership during this difficult time.”
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano stated, "Governor Cuomo and I worked tirelessly with FEMA to develop these new innovative housing options, which along with financial assistance, will help residents rebuild their lives and homes."
Michael Byrne, Federal Coordinating Officer for FEMA, said, “The solution is to get people back into their homes safely, alleviating the need for alternative shelters. We are going to do this with the STEP program. This is an emergency program intended to provide a temporary fix to allow people to live at home while they recover.”
The Individuals and Households Program provides assistance to individuals and households affected by a disaster to enable them to address necessary expenses and serious needs, which cannot be met through other forms of disaster assistance or insurance. Forms of housing assistance under IHP include temporary housing, repair, replacement, and semi-permanent/permanent housing construction.
Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program:
· Enables families to remain in, or return to, their homes, as a form of shelter while permanent repairs are completed.
· The program consists of three distinct elements:
o Residential Electrical Meter Repair
o Temporary Essential Electrical Measures
o Rapid Temporary Exterior Repairs
· Examples of eligible repairs include: patching windows or exterior doors, tarp on the roof, minor electrical work, necessary inspections for habitability.
· State and local governments are eligible applicants for direct federal assistance and/or reimbursement of eligible costs under the STEP program.
· Individual homeowners can then use FEMA traditional Individual Assistance to make permanent repairs to their homes.