Governor announces $7 million for homeowners impacted by Lake Ontario
Up to $40K for homeowners to support interior and exterior repairs to structural damage caused by flooding
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $7 million in state funding to assist homeowners that have been impacted by flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
The new investment program will provide up to $40,000 for homeowners to support interior and exterior repairs to structural damage caused by flooding, as well as the repair or replacement of permanent fixtures. The Governor also today signed legislation amending the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 to provide emergency financial assistance for municipalities to be available immediately. The amended legislation removes a 120-day waiting period, allowing municipalities across the state to access emergency loans.
This funding is in addition to the $10 million in state funding announced for eligible municipalities, and the up to $5 million in grants announced for small businesses with physical damage or loss as a result of flooding. These programs are open to eligible applicants in Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wayne counties, and provide grants for flood-related costs that have not or will not be compensated by any other federal, state or local recovery program or any third-party payers.
“As water levels remain at an historic high throughout this region, it is vital that we continue to provide relief and resources to residents and business owners who have been impacted by this unprecedented flooding,” Cuomo said. “With this additional funding to provide direct aid to affected homeowners, we are ensuring that residents along the coast are able to make needed repairs to their homes and recover from the flooding.”
The original legislation did not allow for emergency assistance to be available until 120 days after the effective date, or August 18, 2017. However, due to the nature of emergency situations faced by municipalities across Upstate, and in anticipation of such emergency situations in the near future, the amended legislation will remove the 120 day waiting period, making the emergency loans available sooner.
The $7 million in new funding for homeowners will be provided through New York State Homes and Community Renewal and be available to eligible municipalities and not-for-profit housing organizations seeking to assist homeowners. Applications will be made available tomorrow on the HCR website. Homeowners will ultimately apply for assistance via their municipality or appropriate not-for-profit provider, and homeowners may contact the HCR Office of Community Renewal directly to express interest and ask questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 518-474-2057.
The Governor also directed the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to implement a five mile per hour speed limit to control wakes within 600 feet of the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shoreline as part of the state’s ongoing response to coastal flooding in the region. Beginning today, vessels operating within 600 feet of shore must observe a 5 mile per hour speed limit to reduce impacts to shoreline residences and infrastructure caused by wave action and to promote safe boating.
Under normal conditions, boaters are required to obey the 5 mile per hour speed limit within 100 feet of shore. With the current state of emergency in the region, and as water levels continue to rise throughout the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River system, the Governor is directing State Parks to institute the expanded speed restriction.
Waves created by boat wakes can exacerbate shoreline erosion, further threatening residential and municipal infrastructure. Reducing speeds will result in reduced boat wakes and lessen the wave action along the shore. Reduced speeds are also necessary to ensure safe boating, as many hidden hazards and debris have been covered by elevated water levels and can threaten boaters. State agencies are working with municipalities to educate boaters and have positioned digital message boards at strategic locations throughout the region.
“DEC remains committed to providing direct assistance to homeowners and local governments throughout the region to address impacts to infrastructure from this record flooding,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
Report Suspected Price Gouging
The Governor is asking residents to report suspected price gouging to the Lake Ontario Flood Assistance Hotline at 866-244-3839. The hotline is available for residents and businesses concerned about potential price gouging or other exploitative practices by service providers in the area. If you believe you are being charged excessive prices for any essential consumer goods or services during the present disaster situation, you are urged to call the hotline and staff will connect you to the Department of State Division of Consumer Protection.
Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC Permitting Offices available throughout the summer
To continue the state’s efforts in helping residents and businesses recover from flooding and damage, the NYS Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC permitting offices will offer weekend hours throughout the summer, starting Memorial Day weekend.
In addition, those who are not able to visit the Emergency Response Mobile Command Center can call the Lake Ontario Flood Assistance Hotline at 1-866-244-3839, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. for help with insurance-related issues, assistance with flood mitigation measures such as sandbags, and for technical guidance regarding on-site repairs to their property. To date, the state has assisted more than 1,240 individuals at the Mobile Command Centers, fielded more than 700 calls through the hotline, and DEC has issued more than 420 permits.
The Command Center will be in Orleans County on Wednesday (May 31) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Orleans County Marine Park in Carlton, Point Breeze Road (Route 98).
The governor reports the following resources have been deployed in Orleans County since the flooding started:
- 140,000 sandbags distributed
- 1 sandbagger deployed
- 56 National Guard members deployed
- State sandbagging operation at 14410 Route 31 in Albion
- 3 Department of Corrections and Community Supervision inmate crews, 2 in the Town of Kendall and 1 in the Town of Carlton