NY1 Exclusive: New Program Helps Residents Elevate Homes

In Crescent Beach, some are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  Homeowners are elevating their properties to comply with the new FEMA standards.  Maureen Fasulo say's she is getting estimates for her home.

"Numbers I'm hearing are like $100,000 if not upwards of that. It's frightening," said Fasulo.

But some homeowners like Fesell could be getting some relief. The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery handed out applications Monday for a new pilot project. Officials say low to moderate income homeowners who qualify can get their properties raised for free.

"Lifting your home not only reduces risk but flood insurance bills. Especially for individuals who may not have incomes to support what the flood insurance insurance bills will be in the future," said Alex Zablocki. He is the New York City Regional Lead at the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery.

The state is allocating nearly 9-million-dollars for flood prone homes on Staten Island and in South Brooklyn.  The program is geared to people who can't get funding from non-for-profits or government programs like Build it Back.  The Governor's office is partnering with a non-profit recovery organization.

The St. Bernard Project started in New Orleans. We have done quite a few home elevations down in that city. We are aiming to bring some of the lessons we have learned there," said Thomas Corley of the St. Bernard Project.

Instead of hiring several contractors for the project here on Staten Island, Corley says he is looking for just one. He says that will significantly cut down on elevation costs.

"The moment that we say we have steady for work you for the next year their prices come down because there is some security they are not jumping from job to job," added Corley.

Zablocki says you should apply even if you do not meet the income requirements.

"If there are funds available we will try to serve everyone," he added.

Zablocki says elevations could start as early as this summer.  To apply visit stbernardproject.org.

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