FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Fairfield County homeowners are reeling from a decision by a committee of public officials to deny them federal grant money to help them rebuild after Superstorm Sandy in November 2012.
The state rejected 94 homeowner applications, including 26 from Fairfield, for the $16.6 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The committee of public officials decided to spend the money on storm infrastructure projects for shore line towns. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, homeowners who expected to be reimbursed as much as 75 percent of of construction costs will now have find the money elsewhere.
Many of the homeowners had hoped to use the money to move their homes to higher ground. The WSJ story said a resident in Milford had estimated moving his home would cost nearly $200,000.
The state believes the money will be better spent hardening infrastructure such as seawalls, bridges, levees and wastewater treatment plans, the report said.
A spokesman for the State Department of Emergency Servies and Public Protection said state received $81.6 million in grant requests from homeowners, towns and state agencies. The FEMA grant was $16.6 million.
The spokesman said homeowners can apply for a state loan program and for a piece of the $65 million that will be provided by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Many homeowners have had their FEMA applications rejected, the story said, even after they spent as much as $1,000 to prepare their applications. Fairfield held seminars last summer to assist the residents in applying for aid.
Read the complete story in the Wall Street Journal online.