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Irene Disaster Relief Updates

Posted September 30, 2011

Irene Disaster Recovery Update

IMPORTANT NOTICES

  • Deadlines are approaching for Irene assistance:
    • October 7th – FEMA deadline for unemployment assistance
    • October 17th – Towns and non-profits must register with FEMA for public assistance with infrastructure.
    • October 30th – Individuals need to register with FEMA by this date, even if they believe they don’t need help now.
      • Calling 211 is not the same as registering with FEMA – please do both.
  • October 31st – U.S. Small Business Administration Assistance deadline. This is not only for businesses but can be for homeowners incurring $30,000+ in damages.
  • Vermonters may appeal FEMA decisions
    • You MUST register with FEMA no matter what you believe the extent of your personal damage is.  With flooding problems like mold can appear years later and be very detrimental for homes.

 

FEMA INFORMATION / DEADLINES

FEMA FACT SHEET FOR INDIVIDUALS

FEMA FACT SHEET FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND PRIVATE NON-PROFITS

FEMA Pushed October 1st Deadline for Government Agencies and Non-Profits to October 17th for Infrastructure Assistance

September 29, 2011

The deadline for government agencies and certain private non-profit organizations needing funds to rebuild infrastructure damages caused by hurricane Irene to register with FEMA is extended to October 17th for all Vermont Counties.FEMA’s Public Assistance (Infrastructure) program reimburses state and municipal governments for the cost of eligible emergency protective measures, debris removal, and the repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of public infrastructure such as roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities and parks, and other recreational facilities damaged during a disaster.   FEMA will fund up to 75 percent of the cost of approved projects

Registering with FEMA does not obligate you to accept the assistance. If you miss the deadline however, you will not be eligible for consideration of disaster relief funding

Some private non-profit organizations may qualify for aid to restore certain types of facilities that include educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care, and other facilities that provide essential government types of services.   FEMA, working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, will make a determination if the services provided by private non-profit organizations are critical or non-critical. If FEMA determines that the services provided are non-critical, you will be required to exhaust assistance from SBA before being considered for assistance from FEMA

Download a copy of FEMA’s Request for Public Aassistance form. The completed form should be faxed to 802-828-2848.

If you need assistance in completing the form, please contact:  Alec Portalupi: 802-828-3889, email: alec.portalupi@state.vt.us or Gary Schelley: 802-828-0425, email: gary.schelley@state.vt.us

For more information about this type of assistance, read FEMA’s Fact Sheet for Public Assistance and Private Non-Profits or visit a Disaster Recovery Center near you.

Directory of FEMA/SBA Disaster Recovery Centers Mon – Sat; 8AM to 6PM,  Sun; 12PM – 6PM


Individuals and Small-Businesses needing funds for housing related expense or to rebuild after damages caused by hurricane Irene must register with FEMA no later than Oct. 31, 2011.

If you have not yet registered, please do so by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Disaster assistance for Individuals may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs, and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance and other sources. There are no income limits when applying for FEMA emergency status.

If you are an individual and you have received an SBA disaster loan application in the mail, it is important to fill it out and return it. You are not obligated to accept a loan, however filling out an application will determine your eligibility for a loan should you need additional compensation above the currently allocated grant amount. If you do not qualify for a loan, you will be referred back to FEMA and could receive additional grant money.

Small-Businesses are encouraged to register with FEMA and encouraged to complete an SBA disaster loan application.  In addition, Small-Businesses needing assistance should contact The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) at 802-828-5627 or visit www.veda.org.  Small-Businesses should also visit www.dca.state.vt.us or call 802-828-3211 to learn more about possible grant or low interest loan programs.

Registering with FEMA does not obligate you to accept assistance.  If you miss the deadline however, you will not be eligible for consideration of disaster relief funding.

Please register no later than Oct. 31, 2011 with www.disasterasssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362

FEMA Deadlines


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) upcoming deadlines for nonprofit organizations to apply for disaster assistance

Please click here to learn more about how this determination may be made and the assistance available from SBA.

U.S. Small Business Administration Assistance

If you suffered physical damage and are directed to SBA for assistance you have until October 31, 2011 to return your application. If you suffered only economic injury you have until June 1, 2012 to return your application.

Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat/Sun 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Private Non-Profits (PNPs) affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. Assistance in completing an SBA application is also available at any of the Disaster Recovery Centers. SBA representatives there can guide you through the requirements for Private Non-Profits.

For more information visit: Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development website


FEMA News Release: Vermonters May Appeal FEMA Decisions

Don’t be discourages, if you believe you should be eligible for assistance or are dissatisfied with the amount you receive, you may call FEMA’s Helpline for information on how to file an appeal. Specialists are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly; or 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service. Some applications are simply being denied for missing signatures and would be approved upon review.

Full Press Release


Vermont Housing Task Force Seeks Those in Need of Housing and Available Housing Units

September 26, 2011

Hundreds of Vermonters are still without a permanent place to live after their homes were destroyed by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene at the end of August.  Many of these individuals are currently in temporary housing – staying with friends and family, or in hotels with help from FEMA or the Red Cross.  These are only short term solutions and each of these Vermonters need a more permanent place to live.

The Irene Housing Task Force urges anyone displaced from their home and needing help finding housing now, or may in the weeks and months to come, to register with  FEMA.   The number is 1-800-621-3362 (1-800-FEMA) or visit www.disasterassistance.gov In addition to providing information about possible grants and other assistance, a FEMA representative will help individuals find housing.  The Irene Housing Task Force is working with FEMA on identifying every available unit in the state.  All individuals impacted by the storm should take the time to register, even if they are unsure that they qualify, for grant or loan assistance.  Registering with FEMA will also allow Vermonters to access possible resources in the event that their living situation changes at any time before they find permanent housing.

The IHTF is asking everyone who has rental housing available to contact FEMA at 866-330-5286 so they and FEMA can match people with available units.

Full Information


Mobile homes were among the hardest hit by Tropical Storm Irene

September 27, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene wrecked havoc on many of Vermont’s mobile homes and mobile home parks. Since they are more affordable than most other types of owner occupies housing, mobile homes residents are more likely to be lower income and lack the resources needed to repair or in some cases remove their homes.

Vermont Public Radio Story

Burlington Free Press Article

State Officials: Mobile home disposal cost will be $1,500 under post-Irene plan

September 22, 2011

Lt. Governor Phil Scott and Lawrence Miller, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, have been talking with private-sector partners for the last several days to nail down the framework for the plan, which they say offers a quick, responsible and affordable solution to a problem facing nearly 150 mobile home owners in more than a dozen parks around the state.

Full Article


Congressman Welch Forms Bipartisan Irene Coalition

September 14, 2011

After Hurricane Irene caused widespread damage in 12 states, Rep. Welch formed the Hurricane Irene Coalition. A bipartisan group of over 50 lawmakers whose districts were affected by the storm, the coalition is now working together to ensure that FEMA has the resources it needs to help states like Vermont recover. The Coalition recently met with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to get an update on recovery efforts and is urging House leaders to ensure FEMA is fully funded.


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More Resources for Vermonters

Congressman Welch Resource Guide for Vermonters recovering from Tropical Storm Irene

As Vermonters work to recover from Tropical Storm Irene, there are a number of resources that you or someone you know may find helpful. Visit www.welch.house.gov/irene for information on assistance available to individuals, businesses, farmers, and municipalities, a list of counties eligible for individual and public assistance, and a list of FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers around the state. If you need additional assistance,  please contact our office at (888) 605-7270.

Multi-Family Rental Repair Program

The State of Vermont, in partnership with FEMA, is looking for multi-family properties uninhabitable before the storms OR not damaged by these storms, preferably with a minimum of four units, that with some improvements, could accommodate Vermonters needing housing as a result of Tropical Storm Irene.

This unique opportunity will allow FEMA to fund rehabilitation activities for eligible properties that will, in turn, be made available to those displaced by the storm. FEMA will work directly with property owners to determine the cost of repair and the costs of repair will be deducted from the monthly rents.

For more information, please contact Christian Oakes at christian.oakes@fema.dhs.gov

Efficiency Vermont Helps Homeowners and Businesses with FREE Flood Repair Assessments, Air Sealing, Appliance Rebates, and More

Efficiency Vermont assessments, air sealing and other measures are available for a limited time. Limited funding is available for the rebates that will be provided on a first-received basis. More information can be found by contacting Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or www.efficiencyvermont.com/irene.

Community leaders in flood-affected areas who want to schedule workshops are encouraged to contact Liz Schlegel of CVCAC at 802-477-5237 or lschlegel@cvcac.org.

For more information about all of Efficiency Vermont’s services to help Vermonters with Tropical Storm Irene recovery, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/irene, or call toll-free 888-921-5990.

Full Information

Protect Yourself Against Fraud – Be Vermont Smart

Not everyone really wants to help – Follow these steps before you hire someone to clear or repair your home or property:

  • Hire someone you know. Ask friends, family, neighbors for names and phone numbers of people they would hire to work for them.
  • Get a written estimate and read the fine print
  • Ask if they have insurance and see a certificate
  • Pay by check

If you think, feel, or suspect you’re being taken advantage of call the Consumer Assistance Program: 800-649-2424 or dial 2-1-1

Full Information


Increase in CY2011 Funding Allocation from HUD, Vermont State Housing Authority may have funding to serve an additional 140 Households

Due to an increase in the CY2011 funding allocation from HUD, Vermont State Housing Authority may have the ability to serve an additional, approximate 140 households. VSHA proposes to use this funding to serve displaced individuals and families affected by Hurricane Irene in Vermont. As such, these public notices (available at www.helpingtohouse.org under “Informational Resources”) serve two purposes: 1. Proposal to establish a new Presidentially Declared Disaster Preference; and 2. Proposal to open the VSHA Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waitlist to serve households that are eligible for the Presidentially Declared Disaster Preference. In addition, it is anticipated that VSHA may be able to serve some additional households, with other preferences, who are already on the VSHA Sect. 8 HCV waitlist.

For additional information, call 802-828-3295 (voice); 800-798-3118 (TTY); 800-820-5119 (messages). Equal Housing Opportunity

Vermont State Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

 



Protect Yourself Against Fraud – Be Vermont Smart

Posted September 29, 2011

Protect Yourself Against Fraud – Be Vermont Smart

Not Everyone Really Wants to Help

FOLLOW THESE STEPS BEFORE YOU HIRE SOMEONE TO CLEAR OR REPAIR YOUR HOME OR PROPERTY

  • – Hire someone you know. Ask friends, family and neighbors for names and phone numbers of people they would hire to work for them.
  • – Get a written estimate and read the fine print.
  • – Ask if they have insurance and see a certificate.
  • – Ask for a contract.
  • –  Pay by check.

If you think, feel or suspect you’re being taken advantage of call the Consumer Assistance Program:

800-649-2424 or call Vermont 2-1-1 (simply dial 2-1-1), a program of the United Ways of Vermont.

Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living

Full Flyer

 

 



The Home Depot Foundation is running a special program to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Posted

The Home Depot Foundation is running a special program to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

From 11 Sep 2011 through Veteran’s Day (11 Nov 2011), Home Depot is offering to conduct work projects on military member’s personal homes.

Home Depot will provide the materials, labor and contractors. Projects will include repairs and installations. If there are any questions, please make contact through the website below.

http://homedepotfoundation.org/

The priority is as follows:

  • –       Wounded warriors returning from combat & disabled veterans
  • –       Members returning from deployment
  • –       Members with special needs (either themselves or Family members)

 

 



Increase in CY2011 Funding Allocation from HUD

Posted September 27, 2011

Due to an increase in the CY2011 funding allocation from HUD, Vermont State Housing Authority may have the ability to serve an additional, approximate 140 households. VSHA proposes to use this funding to serve displaced individuals and families affected by Hurricane Irene in Vermont. As such, these public notices (available at www.helpingtohouse.org under “Informational Resources”) serve two purposes:

1. Proposal to establish a new Presidentially Declared Disaster Preference.

2. Proposal to open the VSHA Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waitlist to serve households that are eligible for the Presidentially Declared Disaster Preference.

In addition, it is anticipated that VSHA may be able to serve some additional households, with other preferences, who are already on the VSHA Sect. 8 HCV waitlist.

For additional information, call 802-828-3295 (voice); 800-798-3118 (TTY); 800-820-5119 (messages). Equal Housing Opportunity

 

 



Governor Shumlin to Celebrate Re-opening of John Graham Shelter

Posted September 26, 2011

Mark your calendars for noon on October 31 when Governor Shumlin will celebrate the re-opening of the John Graham Shelter after its renovations!

We will have a few words from Governor Shumlin, a community open house at 69 Main Street in Vergennes, light refreshments and a chance to thank the City of Vergennes and the many people, churches, businesses, agencies, and organizations who have supported the Shelter for the past 30 years, and who will continue to be our partners in the future.

Please spread the word!

 

 

 



Census estimates confirm decline in household income and increased poverty

Posted

Census Estimates Confirm Decline in Household Income and Increased Poverty

September 23, 2011

The recession’s longstanding toll on the incomes of Vermont households is shown clearly in estimates released by the Census Bureau yesterday.   The median income of a household in the state dropped to $49,406 in 2010 from $51,618 in 2009.   The poverty rate among Vermont households rose to 12.7% up from 11.4% in 2009.    Poverty among the state’s children rose particularly high–to an alarming 16.7% in 2010 up from 13.3% in 2009.

Across the nation, poverty rose in 49 of the 50 states.    In total, 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty in 2010– the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been publishing figures on it.  Median household incomes across the country fell to levels last seen in 1996.

The Census Bureau has recently released the results of two national surveys pertaining to household income and poverty–the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey

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New Estimates About Characteristics of Vermont Households Released

September 22, 2011

The Census Bureau released new estimates today that provide information about the characteristics of residents and homes in Vermont and its counties in 2010.    These estimates are based on the annual American Community Survey (ACS), which asks a sample of Vermonters questions about their home and the household members living there.

While the decenniel Census provided counts of people and households, ACS estimates provide valuable information about the characteristics of Vermont residents.

Here’s a sample of the types of information collected through the ACS:

  • § Total monthly housing costs
  • § Household income
  • § Type of home heating fuel
  • § Age of the household members

VHFA’s researchers are available to speak to members of the media about ACS data pertaining to Vermont’s housing market and the housing situations of low- and moderate-income people.  Inquiries may be directed to Research and Communications Coordinator, Leslie Black-Plumeau

We’re currently reviewing the data and will share highlights as we complete our analyses.

Access the ACS 2010 estimates.

Due to the small size of the ACS sample in some Vermont communities, data users are advised to carefully consider the error ranges provided by the Census Bureau with each estimate.

 

 



Still waiting to rebuild at Weston’s Mobile Home Park in Berlin

Posted

BERLIN — Paul Premo, 70, escaped the flood with only the shirt on his back.

His neighbor Bob and Patty Goodell grabbed their cat and drove to higher ground where they slept in their car for the night.

Premo said in the days after Tropical Storm Irene swamped Weston’s Mobile Home Park, there was talk of sewage in the floodwaters. He saw pools of kerosene throughout the park.

Saturday, displaced resident Sandra Gaffney led a news conference at the park to address the residents’ recovery issues. Seventy homesin the park were destroyed.

Gaffney is just one of a growing number of mobile home park residents who have formed a group called Mobile Home Park Residents for Equality & Fairness, designed to give voice to mobile home owners. Gaffney and others spoke about the lack of assistance to their specific needs …

Full Burlington Free Press Article

 

 



My Turn: Government must put people first in post-Irene effort

Posted

As members of the Vermont Workers’ Center have worked to dig ourselves and our neighbors out of the thick, toxic mud left by Tropical Storm Irene’s flooding, we have been inspired by the solidarity, caring and resolve of our fellow Vermonters. But inspiring as this show of community solidarity is, it is clear to us that it is going to take much more than a neighbor’s helping hand to rebuild from this crisis.

We recognize a familiar pattern. Those communities most affected by this latest crisis are those already suffering most from the ongoing economic crisis: people with disabilities, people who are homeless, people living in mobile home parks, people with no or low incomes …

Full Burlington Free Press Article

 

 



Champlain Housing Trust Board of Directors Recognized

Posted

Burlington, VT – At their annual conference in Atlanta today, BoardSource, an organization dedicated to advancing the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards and inspiring board service, announced that the Champlain Housing Trust Board of Directors won one of three Honorable Mentions in the Prudential Leadership Awards for Outstanding Nonprofit Boards. This competition evaluated nonprofit Boards from across the country on their efforts to position organizations for success.

The “Governing Toward the Future” competition awarded one $40,000 grand prize and three $10,000 honorable mentions. The Champlain Housing Trust’s Board was recognized for its efforts through a merger of two nonprofits to establish a strong, regional affordable housing and community development organization that is now a model for others. BoardSource chose to honor CHT’s Board because it “engineered a new organizational structure to create a sustainable structure for expanded capacity and impact [and] … completed a merger between two organizations, which began – rather than ended – a strategic process of self-improvement,” the organization said.

“We are thankful for this recognition,” said Board President Paul Bohne of Shelburne. “The Champlain Housing Trust places a lot of emphasis on sound governance, and we have an exceptional group of fifteen volunteers providing leadership to the organization.”

The Champlain Housing Trust stewards 500 affordable homeownership properties and over 1,500 affordable rental apartments throughout Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties. In addition to providing affordable housing, CHT offers homebuyer education, credit counseling, foreclosure intervention support, affordable loan products and develops new homes for rent or for sale. More information is available at www.champlainhousingtrust.org.

Full Press Release

 

 



Gov Shumlin confirmed for Sept 28 Annual Meeting

Posted September 23, 2011

Good news: Governor Shumlin is confirmed for the Coalition’s September 28th joint meeting with the VT Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH)!  As announced last week, this year we are also very fortunate to be hosting Sheila Crowley, President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).  Jen Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development (DEHCD) is also confirmed. Here are the event details: 

September 28, 2011
9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Baptist Fellowship Church
1051 Route 66, Randolph, VT

The agenda for the Coalition’s Annual Meeting, the joint VAHC/VCEH meeting, and VCEH’s monthly meeting is now online and attached to this email.  Click here for a copy of the annual meeting notice.

DIRECTIONS TO BAPTIST CHURCH:  Off I-89 Exit 4, head toward Randolph (right off south bound exit, left off North bound exit).  At the bottom of RTE 66 there is a flat stretch.  The Randolph Animal Hospital is on the right at the end of that stretch.  The Baptist Church is the next right.

 

 



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