Press Release – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to modify existing state law to provide immediate assistance to residents of the Underwood Estates whose homes were seriously damaged or destroyed by flooding. Under the existing state program, residents must own both the home and land where they live to apply for funding. This action will expand eligibility to ensure all residents impacted by flooding at Underwood Estates in Plattsburgh, including those who own the home and lease the land, are eligible to apply for financial support and can do so immediately.
“Underwood Estates suffered unimaginable damage from ice jams and flooding resulting from the extreme fluctuations in temperature that left 70 homes destroyed and families displaced,” Governor Cuomo said. “By signing this measure, New York is ensuring families recover as quickly as possible and delivering access to essential funding that residents need to build back better and stronger.”
This bill (A.9814 / S.7714) amends the existing Mobile and Manufactured Home Replacement Program, which is administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Currently, the program is only available to replace mobile or manufactured homes for individuals that own both the home and the land. This measure immediately expands the program to allow it to serve individuals that own their homes and lease the land in Underwood Estates. The amendment also eliminates the $500,000 funding cap on an award to a single eligible applicant and the requirement that homes built with funds must be energy star rated.
This action will also:
- Permit eligible local governments or not for profits, with substantial experience in affordable housing, to apply to administer programs to repair or replace mobile or manufactured homes that were significantly damaged as a result of ice jam flooding of Saranac River between December 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018; and
- Permit such eligible applicant to repair or replace damaged mobile or manufactured homes that are sited on land owned or leased by the homeowner.
In January, Governor Cuomo launched a three part plan to rebuild the Underwood Estates mobile home community in Plattsburgh. The plan included advancing the bill signed into law today, providing up to three months of rental payment assistance to help displaced residents, and fast-tracking the reconstruction of the damaged protective berm on the property.
Senator Betty Little said, “I made a commitment to deliver funding needed to help Plattsburgh residents put their lives back together, and I am proud that alongside Assemblyman Jones and Governor Cuomo, we have passed a bill to make that happen. When our neighbors and families are faced with hardship, we take action to remove barriers to funding and resources, and open doors to new opportunities and a better tomorrow.”
Assemblyman Billy Jones said, “I’m pleased that we will now be able to provide the much needed assistance to the displaced residents of Underwood Estates. It has been a privilege to work with local organizations to provide temporary aide to those in need and with Mayor Read, Senator Betty Little and the Governor to secure this critical disaster relief funding. By making resources available to all residents of Underwood Estates, our community will be empowered to recover from flood damage quickly allowing families to return to their homes. As we take the next step in this process, we will continue to work with state and local officials to find viable solutions to the ongoing flooding crisis in Plattsburgh, Hogansburg, and Fort Covington as well.”