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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It’s Official: Some FEMA Funds Will Go to Raise Homes

UPDATE As anticipated, the state panel overseeing allocation of federal hazard mitigation funds announced today it has reversed its decision and will allocate some funds to shoreline homeowners seeking to raise their homes above floodwaters.

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe first relayed word of the pending reversal decision by the Connecticut Interagency Hazard Mitigation Committee to shoreline homeowners at a meeting in Milford on Sunday. (See WestportNow Feb. 17, 2014)

The reversal came three weeks after the committee determined that all $16.6 million available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would go to infrastructure projects only. Now, about half the money will go for elevations, about a quarter for buyouts and the other quarter for infrastructure.

The turnaround comes after community leaders and other officeholders expressed outrage that homeowners had been entirely ignored. Many sent letters to the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), which oversees the money. Within days Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered the committee to reassess its decision.

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