Funds

Westchester residents weigh in on state’s plan for Hurricane Ida recovery funds

The New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery held its first public hearing on the proposed Hurricane Ida Recovery Action Plan on Thursday at New Rochelle City Hall.

The community comment period comes a little more than a year after the storm devastated the area by causing more than $7 billion in damages, destroying 11,000 homes and killing 17 New Yorkers.

The proposed plan splits more than $40 million dollars in federal funding between initiatives to help residents adapt to the effects of climate change while prioritizing historically underserved communities.

Westchester County is expected to receive 80% of the funds with the rest split between Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Long Island.

The state estimates there is $70 million in unmet needs across the state, mostly from housing damages, which is more than the federal funds available.

PROPOSED PROGRAMS

– Renters Resilient Housing Incentive

– Ida Housing Recovery and Reimbursement

– Affordable Housing Resiliency Initiative

– Resilient Investments through Support and Capital

RENTERS RESILIENT HOUSING INCENTIVE

The state is proposing to set aside $19,000,000 or almost half of the federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds for the renters resilient housing initiative.

This program encourages renters to relocate from storm-damaged units while remaining within their existing communities by providing assistance with increased monthly housing costs and other relocation expenses.

Renters in disaster-declared counties whose income is 80% or less than the area median income and who relocated for more than 12 months/want to relocate because of Ida are eligible.

Landlords who own one to four-unit rental properties and commit to reserving three-quarters of the units for low or moderate-income tenants for two years following a project’s completion are as well.

IDA HOUSING RECOVERY AND REIMBURSEMENT

This program makes up the second largest investment of just over $8 million.

It would provide assistance to help complete repairs to storm-impacted homes and provide in-home measures to improve flood resiliency including elevating mechanicals, electrical and plumbing mitigation, flood vents, and backflow valves.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING RESILIENCY INITIATIVE

The state is proposing to set aside eight million dollars for this program, which provides funds to improve flood storm-damage resiliency to multi-family affordable or public housing development projects. Eligible projects include floodproofing buildings, emergency generators, water retention systems, and site drainage improvements.

RESILIENT INVESTMENTS THROUGH SUPPORT AND CAPITAL

That last part of the proposal would include $4 million for local governments, public entities, and nonprofit organizations to help fully leverage other funding sources to finish resilient upgrades to infrastructure.

The public comment period continues until September 28 and a virtual public hearing will be held on Sept. 13.

The state expects the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to approve the plan by November 28, 2022, and for applications to open next spring.

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