State ups cap on financial assistance for St. Lawrence River flooding
Monday, October 9, 2017 - 11:51 am

All eligible applicants will receive relief for direct physical damages related to the recent Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River flooding, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

State programs will continue to provide assistance to homeowners, small businesses, farms, not-for-profit organizations, homeowner associations, owners of multiple dwellings, and local governments that were impacted by the flooding, Cuomo’s office said.

For impacted homeowners, legislation enacted in July increased the maximum award from $40,000 to $50,000 and expanded eligibility to include all primary homeowners, as well as non-primary homeowners with income up to $275,000. Program assistance will reimburse homeowners for eligible losses including repairs to and restoration of structures, equipment, and other physical damage. The program is being administered through not-for profit housing organizations seeking to help homeowners affected by the flooding.

Small businesses, farms, homeowner associations, and not-for-profit organizations that sustained direct physical flood-related damage are eligible to receive up to $50,000 under this program, while owners of multiple dwellings are eligible to receive up to $20,000. Program assistance is calculated at 50 percent of eligible loss, compensating eligible entities for repairs to and restoration of structures, equipment, and other physical damage and declines in revenue in excess of 15 percent as a result of closures or reduced business. The program is being administered by Empire State Development.

Counties, cities, towns, villages and special districts that sustained direct physical flood-related damage are also eligible to receive up to $1,000,000 for repairs to and restoration of municipal infrastructure and systems and up to $500,000 for flood mitigation, construction of resiliency measures, or flood control projects. This program is being administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

When the program was enacted $45 million was provided across these three categories. Based on the response received to date, it is likely that additional funds will be needed and, through the executive budget process, the state is committed to ensuring that all submitted eligible applications will receive relief, Cuomo said.

"For months, I have been visiting and talking with those who have seen their primary and secondary homes, and businesses destroyed by unprecedented flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. When it became clear that the demand for help surpassed what was available, I made it a priority to do all I could to see that everyone who was eligible for support received it. I would like to thank the Governor for recognizing how critical it is to connect all those eligible with the resources they need to rebuild. I remain committed to continuing my work to see that everyone impacted is able to fully recover,” Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said in a prepared statement from Cuomo’s office.

“I appreciate that the governor understands that the devastating flooding from this past spring is still an on-going issue for affected communities and it will continue to be over the next several years. Residents and businesses are still struggling to get back on track and additional funding in next year's budget will help to address the complex issues that communities are continuing to deal with,” Assemblywoman Addie Jenne, D-Theresa, said in prepared remarks from Cuomo’s office.