Work with us
Mostly Cloudy,74°
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Another FEMA forum grows heated
(Page 2 of 4)
Homeowner Frank Conrad, right, asked Ice Arena worker Michael Raab a question at the May 1 forum.
Even SBA loans that homeowners were approved for, but did not take, make qualifying for block grant funds more difficult, Raab explained. Many people who were affected by Sandy chose not to take on SBA loans because they did not want to incur any more debt.

On Tuesday, Sen. Charles Schumer urged Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the federal department that controls the CDBG money, to change the application so that refused loans are not deducted from applicants’ potential grant total.

“Many victims of Sandy had no choice but to reject these SBA loans because they could not take on any more debt,” said Schumer. “This policy will punish these homeowners, and HUD should do everything in its power to make sure these individuals are eligible for additional federal assistance.”

Residents expressed outrage when Raab said that applications for block grant funds would not be processed until applicants have settled with their insurance companies, because the amount of insurance money they receive is a deciding factor in grant eligibility. Residents said that as they fight for more money, it could be some time before they reach settlements.

“So if people don’t have flood insurance, are they going to be put ahead of us?” asked one resident.

The answer was yes. Raab said that whoever completes the application first will be served first. This drew the ire of audience members who said they shouldn’t be punished for “doing the right thing” and having flood insurance. They feared that by the time they settled with their insurance companies, the grant money would be all gone.

“The pot is so big, it is not a question of running out,” said Raab.

Rebuilding still a challenge

Others complained of unfair reimbursements from their insurance companies for labor and materials as they attempt to rebuild.

“They give us prices that come from Ethiopia or Mississippi,” said resident Frank Conrad, who said that he was given a $66,000 insurance reimbursement to rebuild his three-bedroom house. “You can’t even build an outhouse on Long Island with that money.”


4 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

That meeting was a complete waste of time. If they were smart, they're wait until they had more information so they could actually answer people's questions. Instead, they got pushed against a wall by a very angry crowd.

Shame on FEMA for their lack of preparedness. I'm not shocked. They are the biggest, most disorganized group of people I have met so far.

Thursday, May 9, 2013 | Report this

*they'd not they're

Thursday, May 9, 2013 | Report this

“So if people don’t have flood insurance, are they going to be put ahead of us?” asked one resident.

I find that comment extremely selfish. First of all NYS rising prohibits folks with vacation homes etc from applying. It is mainly intended for primary residences and it considers income.

Widows and orphans and elderly folks are usually the ones with no mortgage. Large parts of Long Beach was put in a flood zone as recently as 2009. These folks were never asked to get flood insurance during the 30 years they had a mortgage, after mortgage was paid off and FEMA decided that flood insurance is required for folks with mortgages FEMA made no effort or attempt to get these folks to sign up. Why, cause FEMA insurance only charges 1/3 the actual cost. Every new costumer comes at a loss to FEMA, FEMA is mainly interested in FHA backed mortgage loans flood insurance. Yes uncle sam owes your mortgage and wants to make sure the underlying collateral is properly insured. FEMA even stated if all folks not only folks with FHA mortgages in high risk areas signed up for flood insurance it would bankrupt system. So in effect the Widows and orphans and elderly folks subsidize the folks with flood insurance.

Now a guy in this article who got paid 60k while widow next door got paid 31.9K is begrudging her one chance to get some money for her house.

Folks with flood insurance are not really Sandy Flood Victims. Usually they are victims of a bad adjuster, bad insurance company, contractors who overcharged or FEMA policies. Nothing to do with Sandy. My next door neighbor spent 110K on house and only got 70K and was complaining about his insurance. Meanwhile I saw Servepro in there doing a rip out for 15K, expensive Mold Remediation work done, top of the line cabinets being replaces as they got a little wet etc. That is what ran most of bill up to 110K, I think he could have easily got it done for 70K. He is also applying to these fund to get his 40K owed.

Folks with flood insurance and financial means should be volunteering to let the widows and ophans with no flood insurance to front of the line for whatever scraps they get.

Friday, May 10, 2013 | Report this

Hey jack Schnirrrrrmann, you are doing a real good job-lol! It is time for Long Beach to elect a mayor instead of a non-LB guy with an Ivy league degree who could not manage his way out of a paper bag....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 | Report this
Terms of Use | Advertising | Careers | Contact Us | Community Links © 2016 Richner Communications, Inc.