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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Cuomo: State will compensate for 'earth movement' loss
by Laura Schofer

by Laura Schofer

lschofer@liherald.com

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State’s Housing Recovery Program will fully compensate homeowners affected by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and Superstorm Sandy for the repair costs of damage to their homes due to earth movement.

Under FEMA’s existing National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations, damage caused by the movement of soil or earth – even if the movement is the result of flooding – is not eligible for coverage. In comparison, physical damage to a building caused directly by flood waters is covered under NFIP. As a result of this gap in coverage, many Long Island homeowners have had their NFIP claims denied or greatly reduced. Many still have no permanent housing or the resources to rebuild.

“Over the last few years, we experienced three once-in-a-century storms that wreaked an unprecedented level of devastation in communities across the state,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release. “It simply does not make sense that some New Yorkers who were just as hard hit by the same storms as others cannot be compensated for their losses,” he said, referring to the earth movement clause found in the National Flood Insurance Program. “That is why the state is stepping up to bridge this unfair gap in insurance coverage. Under our Housing Recovery Program, homeowners will be fully compensated for all repairs of damage.”

“Wow! At the moment I am truly overcome with joy,” Michele Mittleman wrote in a post to Friends of Wantagh and Seaford. Ms. Mittleman, who founded the Facebook group Sandy Victims Fighting FEMA after she was denied full coverage to her damaged Freeport home due to earth movement, added, “Governor Cuomo has brilliantly stepped in to help us in New York, but New Jersey residents have yet to be helped by Governor Christie.”

According to Ms. Mittleman “FEMA has fraudulently denied flood coverage to an estimated 20,000 homeowners in New York and New Jersey, leaving us homeless with a mortgage.”

New York reaches out to homeowners

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