State earmarks $20 million for flood assistance

State earmarks $20 million for flood assistance

New York State will earmark up to $20 million to expand the state Department of Housing and Community Renewal Residential Home Repair Program in response to homeowners along Lake Ontario who have said they still are in need of individual assistance following recent flooding.

In a recent progress report on the Lake Ontario community planning process, the state’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) commission noted that since its meeting in Rochester in June, state planning teams have empowered REDI communities to bring hundreds of projects ideas forward.

Up to $300 million may be available for large-scale projects that will rebuild and enhance the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline from resiliency and economic development points of view. Projects may include protecting critical infrastructure and enhancing natural features that support coastal resilience. The $20 million will come from that funding pool, REDI officials said in their letter to municipalities last week.

“As a point of clarification, local government can propose projects to protect against economic loss from home value deflation by flood exposure where the local government has identified a geographic configuration allowing a break wall or dunes to protect a critical mass of homes,” the progress letter states.

Co-commissioners Basil Seggos and Howard Zemsky said the focus is on regionally significant efforts in that regard and expects awards of up to $15 million total for qualifying projects per county, with additional funding of up to $160 million in total for regionally significant, large-scale economic development projects.

“On behalf of the REDI Commission, we are grateful for the tremendous participation of the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River communities thus far and are eager to review your submissions,” Seggos and Zemsky said in their letter. “Working together, we are confident that we can produce projects of great long-term community protection and benefit.”

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