05.08.07

Schumer Demands FEMA Approve Much Needed Individual Assistance For Ulster And Remaining Counties

Last Week, FEMA Declared 12 Counties Eligible for Public Assistance Aid- But Ulster Has Been Left without Aid for Individuals and Small BusinessesSchumer Has Aggressively Lobbied For Aid in Calls and Letters

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today demanded that Federal Emergency Management Agency approve individual assistance for Ulster County and the counties for which Governor Spitzer requested aid. Last week, after Schumer personally called FEMA Administrator David Paulison, FEMA approved disaster assistance for state and local governments and certain private nonprofits in all 12 counties for Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Schoharie, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester Counties. Individual Assistance has already been approved for Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Albany, and Richmond Counties. Schumer said families in Ulster County desperately need this aid to get back on their feet.

"The bottom line is that those who have suffered damage or lost their homes cannot afford to wait much longer," Schumer said. "FEMA has delivered for the region so far but now must do the same for Ulster. We must do everything we can to get federal dollars to Ulster and the remaining counties as soon as possible. This is the only way residents impacted by the storms will be able to get back on their feet."

Individual Assistance, approved initially for just Westchester, Rockland, and Orange and now available for Albany, Dutchess, and Staten Island, provides aid for those whose homes were damaged by a disaster with aid such as temporary housing, repair, construction etc. The maximum is $28,200 per household.

Through the Small Business Administration, businesses and individuals in counties eligible for Individual Assistance can apply for loans to help repair or replace personal property, or restore one's primary home to its predisaster condition. The SBA can provide up to $1.5 million in disaster assistance loans to a qualified business. This loan cap includes both economic injury and physical damage assistance.

Schumer pointed out that inspections by Ulster County officials have determined that 1 home was completely destroyed, 59 have suffered major damage, 76 have suffered minor damage, and 664 have been generally affected by the damage.

Last month, Schumer toured flood damaged areas of Westchester and Suffolk Counties.



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