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VAHC Annual Meeting, VAHC/VCEH Joint Meeting & VCEH Monthly Meeting

Posted September 13, 2011

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

———————————————————————————————————- 

September 28 is the Coalition’s Annual Meeting, as well as our annual joint meeting with the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH), and the VCEH’s monthly meeting.  As always, this year’s agenda is packed and exciting: 

* Sheila Crowley, President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, will bring us all the latest federal information from DC on housing and homelessness.  

* Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding and AHS Secretary Doug Racine have been invited to speak to us about the state’s FY 13 budget outlook, the recommendations from the Governor’s Summit on Housing the Homeless, and disaster recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, among others. 

Because we are meeting on the 28th, there will be no regular monthly VAHC meeting tomorrow, Sept 14th. 

The overall agenda for the 28th will be as follows: 

9:30-10:30 AM    VAHC Annual Meeting
10:30-12:30 PM   VAHC & VCEH Joint Meeting
12:30-1:30 PM    Networking Lunch
1:30-3:00 PM      VCEH Monthly Meeting 

We’ll send out the full agenda for the meetings next week, as well as the nominees for the VAHC’s Steering Committee and other background materials. 

I hope you or someone from your organization can attend!!   

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. 

The meeting space does NOT have a speaker phone, so we will not be offering a call-in option this month, but will resume that in October. 

For further nformation, contact Regan Wedenoja (email) or Erhard Mahnke (email) or call 660-9484.

Hope to see you on the 28th!

 



Hurricane Irene Updates

Posted September 12, 2011

Message From Congressman Peter Welch

September 7, 2011

Welch sent a letter to all 435 members of the House of Representatives asking for their support in ensuring disaster assistance is available to states that need it. Attached to the letter was a 17-page presentation depicting the devastation inflicted by Irene on Vermont. (Welch’s letter and presentation is available below.)

Welch made Vermont’s case to House Democrats at a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus

Welch chaired a bipartisan meeting, organized of 48 House Members and staff from districts harmed by Irene’s path of destruction. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Deputy Administrator Richard Serino participated in the meeting as well as White House staff

The White House indicated that the damage caused by Irene will total $1.5 billion.

Read Welch’s Full Statement: Welch outlines effort in House to ensure Irene recovery assistance

To View Presentation: Tropical Storm Irene Presentation

___________________________________________________________________

Assistance on Reporting Damages

September 9, 2011

Agency of Commerce and Community Development Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development

Attached is some information for individuals, businesses, travelers and communities and where to go for assistance and to report damages. Our home page (www.dca.state.vt.us) and vermont.gov has other resources as well and we are trying to update regularly as info becomes available.

We thought these resources might be helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Noelle MacKay, Commissioner

Agency of Commerce and Community Development Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development

For More Information On:

____________________________________________________________________________________

Rental Resources – Notifications of available private rental units

September 11, 2011

ACCD

ACCD is working with the housing unit of FEMA to identify “rental resources.”  We have provided them with the Directory of Affordable Rental Housing and many other sources but encourage anyone who is a aware of available private units to call them into FEMA.

To help FEMA identify temporary housing options for displaced Vermonters, please notify it of available private rental units by calling 1-866-330-5286 or faxing the information to 540-686-4467.  (FEMA has been provided information on all vacancies in state and federally-supported housing.)  Let them know you want to provide “rental resources” and give the following information.

  • - Address including street name, county, state.
  • - Name of owner
  • - Contact phone number for owner
  • - # of units
  • - # of bedrooms
  • - Amount of rent
  • - Utilities provided (all, none, cable, trash pick up, water/sewer, electic, gas, heating oil.)

____________________________________________________________________________

Updates from VHFA

New Portal of Vermont Rental Vacancy Lists

September 12, 2011

In response to the need for temporary and long-term housing after Tropical Storm Irene, we’ve added a new feature to the Vermont Housing Data website to help residents quickly view on-line lists of apartments for rent across the state.  The new “portal”, accessible directly from the housing data site’s home page, provides links to lists of vacancies from:

  • -       Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing
  • -       FEMA’s Housing Portal
  • -       VT Exchange (free resources including housing for those suffering storm damage)
  • -       Craig’s List
  • -       Apartments.com
  • -       On-line rental classified advertisements in 15 Vermont newspapers

Owners or managers with apartments to rent that are in publicly subsidized buildings are encouraged to use the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing to post new vacancies and to remove those filled.   Other apartments can be listed free of charge through the FEMA Housing PortalVT Exchange, or Craig’s List.

 

FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefings Begin Today

September 9, 2011

The Vermont Agency of Transportation will be holding applicant briefings for Vermont communities in counties granted a Public Assistance disaster declaration following floods from Tropical Storm Irene.   All Vermont counties received this declaration, with the exception of Grand Isle County.

Attendance at this meeting for organizations applying for FEMA public assistance funding.    Attendees will learn how to apply for federal reimbursement for flood response and recovery costs for eligible public infrastructure such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain non-profit organizations.  Applicants may attend the briefing meeting closest to their location.

Link to Briefing Schedule

 

Five FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers now  open across the state

September 8, 2011

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened five disaster recovery centers across the state.  Centers are located in Killington, Dover, Barre, Brattleboro, and Waterbury.  More locations are expected to open soon.

These centers will help Vermonters identify benefits, grants, and low-interest loans that are available to help families recover from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA) staff are also at the Barre, Brattleboro, and Waterbury centers providing information and taking applications for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher assistance for income eligible families displaced as a result of Hurricane Irene.  VSHA has asked HUD for waivers to provide this assistance.

For more information, contact Kathleen Berk, VSHA, 802-828-3019.

Read More About FEMA centers

_____________________________________________________________

Vermont Public Radio to Hold Fundraiser for Irene Recovery September 13, 2011

In response to the statewide devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont Public Radio will hold a special one-day fundraiser on Tuesday, September 13, to help affected communities rebuild and recover from this natural disaster. Donations received from listeners will benefit the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.

VPR – Full Article

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3SquaresVT Recipients Eligible for Extra Benefits to Replace Food Lost During Tropical Storm Irene

September 8, 2011

Reneé Richardson , DCF Food and Nutrition Programs Director, (802) 279-3898

Waterbury, VT—Vermont households that received 3SquaresVT benefits (food stamps) in August of 2011 and then lost food during Tropical Storm Irene — either because their homes were flooded or they lost power for four or more hours — are eligible to receive extra benefits to help replenish their food supplies. How much extra help households can get depends on the value of the food lost and the amount of the 3SquaresVT benefit received in August.

The deadline for requesting a replacement benefit related to Tropical Storm Irene is September 17, 2011.

For Information on How to Request Benefits: 3 Squares Full Article

Vermonters interested in learning more about 3SquaresVT can visit the department’s website at http://dcf.vermont.gov/mybenefits or www.vermontfoodhelp.com Seniors can also call the Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119.

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Message from the Health Commissioner on Irene

Department of Health Resources from Commissioner Harry Chen
September 8, 2011

Given the extraordinary effects of Irene on our state, my job is to prevent a catastrophic environmental disaster from becoming a public health disaster. I would normally rely on the media and the Internet to get the word out but it is clear that those most affected may not have access to those luxuries. I have pushed the information out to town health officers, local district health offices and directly to the communities receiving the National Guard commodity deliveries.

I am hoping that this information may be helpful to you as you get out into the affected communities. There is a wealth of information available on our website (http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/water/flood.aspx) but I want to connect you to highlights. As you might expect we are working on several other areas (dust and air quality) so please do check our website for regular updates:

_____________________________________________________________________

Vermont Flood Relief Guides

Posted on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 by Michael

 

 



VCDA Fall Conference & Annual Meeting

Posted September 9, 2011

Vermont Community Development Association

Fall Conference & Annual Meeting

Conference will include discussions on Vermont’s statewide energy plan, community and business energy efficiency programs, reducing energy use, the green economy and green jobs, as well as energy efficiency resource programs.

Where: The Langevin house, VTC Campus, Randolph, VT

When: Wednesday, November 2nd, 8:30am-3:30pm

For More Information Contact:

Jessica Hill at 802.229.9111

Event Flyer: VCDA Fall Flyer11Registration information is located in the Flyer.

VCDA Members – $25 per person

Non-Members – $35 per person

Tags:

 



Posted

Join U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders*, CHT leaders past and present, and state and local officials to celebrate the 500th home coming under CHT’s permanently affordable homeownership stewardship.

Where: 170 North Champlain Street, Burlington

When: Monday, September 26th, 10:30 A.M.

RSVP: 862-6244 or chris@champlainhousingtrust.org

*Schedule permitting.


 

Tags:

 



Message From the VSHA

Posted September 7, 2011

Message From The VSHA

September 7, 2011

 

Vermont State Housing Authority hopes to provide Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to households displaced from their homes by Hurricane Irene.

Vermont State Housing Authority is pursing waivers through the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to provide Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher assistance to income eligible families displaced as a result of Hurricane Irene.  In anticipation of HUD’s approval, we are taking applications from families who wish to apply.  Beginning this week, VSHA staff is on the ground at the three disaster recovery centers (located in Barre, Brattleboro and Waterbury) disseminating information and taking applications.

Kathleen R. Berk, Director

Housing Program Administration

Vermont State Housing Authority

802-828-3019

 



Hurricane Irene Resources/Updates

Posted

Friends,

Appended below please find the following additional disaster relief information and updates:

  • Message from Governor Shumlin
  • Message from Senator Leahy
  • Message from Senator Sanders – Register for FEMA Benefits
  • Message from President Pro-Tem (Vermont State Senate)
  • Storm Related Information for VHFA Mortgage Holders
  • News Update: Waterbury State Office
  • Report Fuel Tanks & Spills
  • How to Help Vermont

____________________________________________ 

Message From Governor Shumlin

Gov. Shumlin outlines programs to help homeowners impacted by Tropical Storm Irene

September 6, 2011

MORETOWN – Gov. Peter Shumlin, appearing with Vermonters who lost their homes in flooding created by Tropical Storm Irene, today outlined the various federal and state programs designed to get properties repaired and rebuilt as quickly as possible.

“It’s been just over a week since the storm hit, and I have talked to hundreds people across the state whose lives have been turned upside down. Their homes, and in some cases their land, have been damaged or destroyed completely,” Gov. Shumlin said. “We are moving quickly to get them assistance for repairs and replacement, as well as temporary housing.”

As of today, FEMA has approved $4.3 million in assistance — $4.2 million in housing assistance and $165,228 for other needs such as replacement of personal property. More than 2,000 Vermonters have registered for assistance, a number that will increase. To date there have been just over 700 homes confirmed as severely damaged or destroyed, and assessments continue.

There are 30 inspectors in the field and 750 property inspections have been completed. In addition, three disaster recovery centers are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until further notice: in Barre at Barre Municipal Auditorium, 16 Auditorium Hill; in Brattleboro at Living Memorial Park Skating Rink, 61 Memorial Park Drive; and in Waterbury at the Waterbury Fire Department, 43 South Main Street. The recovery centers are staffed with disaster recovery specialists from various federal, state and local agencies and organizations who can provide information and answer questions about storm-related assistance. Additional centers will be opening soon.

—————————————————- 

FEDERAL ASSISTANCE:

The White House has approved individual assistance for homeowners and businesses in eight counties: Addison, Chittenden, Orange, Bennington, Washington, Rutland, Windham and Windsor.

Assistance for losses sustained anytime after the storm may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster. Even those with insurance may be eligible for help from FEMA if their insurance policy does not cover all their needs, FEMA said.

Step 1: Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are several ways to register: 

Apply online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available to assist with the application process.

By smartphone or tablet, use http://m.fema.gov/, or for devices with the Android operating system, a FEMA App can be downloaded at http://market.android.com/details?id=gov.fema.mobile.android. 

When applying for aid you will receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA.

It is helpful to have the following information handy:

- Current telephone number;
– Address at the time of the disaster and current address;
– Social Security number, if available;
– A general list of damages and losses;
– If insured, the name of insurance company, agent and policy number; and
– Bank routing number for any direct deposit.

Step 2: Receive a property inspection.

 Within a few days after registering, eligible applicants will be telephoned to make an appointment to have their damaged property inspected. The inspectors, who are FEMA contractors and carry identification badges, visit to make a record of damage. They do not make a determination regarding assistance. There is no cost for the inspection.

Step 3: All applicants will receive a letter from FEMA regarding the status of their requests for federal assistance. Some will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster recovery loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Anyone who has questions about the letter from FEMA should call the helpline (800-621-3362 or TTY, 800-462-7585).

Those who receive an application packet from the SBA should complete and submit the forms. No one is required to accept a loan but submitting the application may open the door to additional FEMA grants.

STATE ASSISTANCE:

An additional resource for those whose homes have been damaged is their local Homeownership Centers.  These centers are funded, in part, with Community Development Block Grant funds from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.  They make low or deferred interest loans for home repairs and can help pay for damages that are not covered by insurance, FEMA or SBA disaster loans.

Renters who have been displaced can contact the organizations listed above, local housing nonprofits, housing authorities or search for available apartments on www.housingdata.org, or by contacting:

- Central Vermont Community Land Trust HOC – 802-476-4493  or www.cvclt.org
– HOC of Chittenden County – 802-862-6244 or www.getahome.org
– Gilman Housing Trust HOC – 802-535-3445 or www.nekhome.org
– NeighborWorks of Western Vermont – 802-438-2303 or www.nwwvt.org
– Windham and Windsor Housing Trust HOC – 802-246-2109 or http://www.w-wht.org/homeownership-center/

In addition, The Department of Banking, Insurance, Health Care and Securities is available to assist with questions related to floor insurance at http://www.bishca.state.vt.us/insurance/insurance-consumer/vermont-flood-information or (800) 964-1784 in state or (802) 828-3302.

In response to the storm, the ACCD is:

Creating a Housing Task Force, headed by Jennifer Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development to work with VEM and FEMA to develop a housing recovery plan and guide its implementation.

Working with our fellow housing agencies, Vermont Emergency Management and FEMA to identify vacant apartments that could be available for temporary housing.

Requesting a waiver from the Treasury Department that would make vacant apartments in many federally-supported properties available to any displaced Vermonter regardless of income.

Seeking additional housing and development resources in the form of block grants and Section 8 vouchers from HUD, in coordination with the congressional delegation.

Establishing a Housing Task Force of state agencies and federal and local partners to work with FEMA to develop a housing recovery plan and to guide its implementation.

Running a call-center at the Agency of Commerce to collect damage information from mobile home park and apartment owners at 802-828-3211 to provide to FEMA.

Accompanying FEMA today as they tour impacted areas and assess housing needs.  Senior ACCD officials are traveling with FEMA today.

Reaching out to the private sector and the philanthropic community to help fill the gaps.

___________________________________________

Message From Senator Leahy

Flooding caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene inflicted historic damage across our state.

Vermont Recovery Flood Guide

Even in these trying times Vermonters are pitching in and taking care of one another, neighbors helping neighbors, and communities coming together to help the many in need.  Now as we see the flood waters recede, the hard work of recovery is beginning. This enormous challenge is beyond the means of a small state like ours. I am fighting to make sure Vermonters find and receive the help they need. To do this I am working closely with federal agencies and the Obama Administration to make sure every federal resource is made available to Vermont as we begin the recovery process. In this Vermont Flood Recovery Resource Guide, I have compiled important information and key contacts to help flooded property owners, businesses, farmers, and renters. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, I encourage you to contact my office at 1-800-642-3193 or visit my website: www.leahy.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Patrick Leahy

____________________________________________

Message from Senator Bernie Sanders – Do You Need Help?

Register for FEMA Benefits to Help Rebuild After Hurricane Irene

September 6, 2011

Vermonters have seen their homes, businesses and farms suffer terrible damage in the wake of Hurricane Irene. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened three disaster recovery centers over the weekend in Barre, Brattleboro and Waterbury. FEMA hopes to have up to 10 locations throughout Vermont by the end of this week.

These FEMA centers will help Vermonters identify benefits, grants, and low-interest loans that are available to help families recover from the devastation caused by this natural disaster. “If you have been impacted by the hurricane, it makes all the sense in the world to contact FEMA,” Bernie said.

FEMA’s recovery centers are open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Before visiting the disaster recovery centers, you are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 or by registering online.

Visit a FEMA disaster recovery center near you »
Register with FEMA online »
Learn more about types of assistance that may be available for you »

Who is Eligible? At this point, individuals and businesses in Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor Counties may be eligible for FEMA grants and Small Business Administration loans. Additional counties may be added in the future. Certain businesses and nonprofits in Caledonia, Franklin, Grand Isle and Lamoille Counties may also be eligible for some SBA loans. [Note: Calling 2-1-1 does not register you for FEMA benefits]

Full Article

____________________________________________

Message From the President Pro-Tem, Vermont State Senate

John F. Campbell, Senate President Pro Tempore

September 5, 2011 

Full Message

Resources from the Agency of Natural Resources

Disposal of Flood Debris: The Agency of Natural Resources will be coordinating local hazardous waste in local communities through the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Waste Management Division. Please forward your questions to (802) 241-3888

Guidelines for Instream Work: The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) recognizes that recovery from this state-wide flood disaster will require extensive in-stream work.  Rivers Program engineers will be helping Vermont communities by providing technical and problem-solving assistance.  Conditions that existed prior to the flood may, in cases, not be desirable or even possible to recreate, but we will assist landowners, municipalities, and other agencies to accomplish the recovery goals while reducing vulnerability, loss, and public safety hazards during the next flood.

Information by County (cell phone numbers):

Todd Menees, P.E. – (802) 345-3510 (Southern VT – including Rutland, So.Windsor, Windham & Bennington Counties)

Barry Cahoon, P.E. - (802) 343-0217 (Northeast VT – including Essex, Caledonia & Orleans Counties; & backup for Windham & Bennington Counties)

Chris Brunelle - (802) 777-5328 (Northwest VT – including Franklin, Chittenden, Lamoille & Grand Isle counties & back up for Addison & Rutland Counties)

Patrick Ross, P.E. - (802) 279-1143 (Central VT – including Washington, Orange, No.Windsor, and Addison Counties)

Mike Kline - (802) 793-7617 (Rivers Program Manager) 

State laws still apply: We are using emergency authority during this extreme situation.  State laws governing stream alterations are not suspended during flood recovery.  Particular in-stream practices will be regulated during this time and are listed above.  Emergency in-stream work may proceed under emergency provisions set in statute and will be expedited under the Stream Alteration General Permit.

Efficiency Vermont Resources: Efficiency Vermont can provide advice on replacing damaged insulation and on how to address health and safety issues. In addition, Efficiency Vermont will have financial assistance available for heating and hot water systems, replacing insulation, air sealing, and finding a contractor as well as rebates on ENERGY STAR® dehumidifiers, refrigerators and clothes washers.

In addition to its regular business hours, Efficiency Vermont technical staff will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend at 888-921-5990 to provide technical assistance and to answer your questions. Efficiency Vermont is expecting high call volume, so if callers don’t reach someone immediately, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Vermonters impacted by Irene can also visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/irene any time for more information on: Health and Safety, Reinsulating Walls and Air Sealing, Finding a Contractor, and Heating/Hot Water Assistance.

ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebates: Clothes Washers and Refrigerators: Efficiency Vermont currently offers a $50 mail-in rebate on select ENERGY STAR® clothes washers and refrigerators. You can also combine this rebate with a $50 instant in-store rebate funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ─ for a total rebate of $100.

Dehumidifiers: Efficiency Vermont also currently offers a $25 mail-in rebate on ENERGY STAR® qualified dehumidifiers

____________________________________________

Storm Related Information for VHFA Mortgage Holders, Multifamily Properties, and Others.

September 2, 2011

The flooding and damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene has been immense. Below is a comprehensive list of resources available from various agencies as will as how to proceed if your home or housing property has been impacted:

For current VHFA homeowners affected by flooding or other storm related damages, please contact VHFA by telephone 802-864-5743 or toll-free at 800-339-5866.  You may also email us at homeownership@vhfa.org.

For multifamily housing owners or managers affected by flooding or other storm related damages, please contact VHFA by telephone 802-864-5743 or toll-free at 800-339-5866. You may also email kroy@vhfa.org.

From FEMA: 4 Counties have been Presidentially Declared for FEMA Individual Assistance.  These counties include:  Washington, Rutland, Windsor & Chittenden.  Residents in these counties who were impacted by Irene can now register for FEMA assistance online or by phone 1-800-621-3362.  More counties pending further preliminary damage assessment.

Assisted multifamily housing projects that have vacancies should update their information at www.housingdata.org/doarh where managers can log in and report any available units. This information is helpful not only to displaced Vermonters locally, but is also being reported to HUD along with other states’ vacant units to ensure efficient utilization of these units. If you have any trouble logging in, please contact kcurley@vhfa.org.

____________________________________________

Waterbury State Offices Could Be Closed Four Months

VT Digger, September 2, 2011

Parts of the Waterbury State Office Complex could be uninhabitable for at least four months, and perhaps significantly longer, state officials say, and the Shumlin administrations is figuring out how to put the 1,586 employees assigned to Waterbury back to work. Flooding from Tropical Storm Irene caused extensive damage to the 500,000-plus square foot facility complex, which is comprised of separate brick structures. Gas-and-sewage-laced mud is everywhere. The tunnel system was filled with water and muck.

Full Article

____________________________________________

Reporting Fuel Tanks and Spills

Some of the damaged parks had above ground fuel tanks and propane tanks washed away or tipped over, or underground tanks flooded.

The number to call to report fuel tanks and spills is 1-800-641-5005.

____________________________________________

How to Help Vermont

Volunteer Contact Information
Shay Totten

Sarah Waterman at VTResponse.com is a great contact to provide volunteer or food needs to for any mobile home / affordable housing sites. She’s been doing yeowoman’s work getting vols in touch with folks in need.

Sarah Waterman
sjwaterman@gmail.com
cell: (802) 922-4202

____________

Burlington Free Press Article: How to Help Victims of Irene
Tuesday, September 6, 2011  

____________

The Vermont Community Foundation
We Help People Give To The Causes They Love
Helping Non-Profits with Irene Recovery

 



Vermont Community Foundation’s 25th Annual Meeting/Anniversary Celebration POSTPONED

Posted September 6, 2011

Dear Friends,

We had been very excited about the Community Foundation’s 25th Annual Meeting / Anniversary Celebration coming up on Wednesday, September 14th at Bread Loaf in Ripton. Like many of you, we always look forward to gathering with our partners to talk about our shared work.

The events of the past four days, however, have necessitated a change in our plans. We have decided to postpone the annual meeting until a later date, most likely mid- to late-October.

We will send out more information as soon as we have settled on a date and location. In the meantime, thank you for your understanding, your support, and the incredible generosity that you have demonstrated in the face of difficult circumstances for our state. Please contact Paige Pierson at ppierson@vermontcf.org or 802-388-3355 x246 with any questions.
Sincerely,

Stuart Comstock-Gay

President & CEO

The Vermont Community Foundation

Full Message from the Vermont Community Foundation: VCF 25th Anniversary Celebration Postponed

 

 



More Irene updates & resources

Posted September 2, 2011

INFO ON FEMA ASSISTANCE FROM HOUSE SPEAKER SHAP SMITH & SENATE PRESIDENT JOHN CAMPBELL
September 2, 2011 

PRESIDENT DECLARES VT DISASTER AREA – OPENS WAY FOR FEMA RECOVERY ASSISTANCE

All Vermont counties except Grand Isle have been approved for Public Assistance.  Individual Assistance has been approved for Chittenden, Rutland, Washington, and Windsor Counties.  Assessments are being completed in the remaining counties and supplemental requests will be made as soon as possible for aid in those regions.

Below and in the attachments please find more information about what qualifies for Public Assistance and Individual Assistance and how to apply.  Please note that calling 211 (and related numbers) is not the same as applying for FEMA Aid.  Those counties who have not had the declaration made yet should continue to report damages to 211.  Those counties that have been approved for FEMA aid should follow the process outlined below and in the attached documents.

Also attached is the latest information the Speaker and Pro Tem’s offices have compiled regarding the recovery and clean up response: Disaster Assistance Information.  Some of this has been in prior updates, some is included below, but the attachment collects everything in one document and is in a printable format for easier distribution.  Please let Tom Cheney in the Speaker’s Office (828-2245 or tcheney@leg.state.vt.us), or Ashley Grant in the Pro Tem’s (828-3806 or AGrant@leg.state.vt.us) know if you have anything to add to a future update.

FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE OVERVIEW

Below you will find an overview of FEMA’s Public Assistance and Individual Assistance programs.  Attached you will find more detailed information about each program:

FEMA Public Assistance

Assistance to Individuals and Households

It is worth visiting FEMA’s website (http://www.fema.gov/) for more details and FAQ sheets.

FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

Counties Granted Public Assistance: Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor

What is Public Assistance: Public Assistance is oriented to public entities and can fund the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replace­ment of a public facility or infrastructure, which is damaged or destroyed by a disaster.

How to Apply: A request for Public Assistance must be filed with the State within 30 days after the area is designated eligible for assistance.  Following the Applicant’s Briefing, a Kickoff Meeting is conducted where damages will be discussed, needs assessed, and a plan of action put in place.  A combined Federal/State/local team proceeds with Project Formulation, which is the process of documenting the eligible facility, the eligible work, and the eligible cost for fixing the damages to every public or PNP facility identified by State or local representatives.  The team prepares a Project Worksheet (PW) for each project.

*For details about Public Assistance aid, including a guide on the application process visit: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pa/index.shtm

FEMA ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUALS AND HOUSEHOLDS

Counties Granted Individual Assistance:  Chittenden, Rutland, Washington, and Windsor

NOTE: The assessment of damages in other counties such as Orange, Windham, and Bennington has not yet been completed. Once these effected counties have been completely assessed, and the total damage has been documented, then the Shumlin Administration will be able to apply for Individual Assistance on their behalf. In the meantime, please continue to report all Individual damage to 2-1-1 and damage to business to 828-3211.

What is Individual Assistance: The Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial help or direct services to those who have necessary expenses and serious needs if they are unable to meet the needs through other means.  Up to $30,200 is available in financial help (adjusted each year), although some forms of IHP assistance have limits.  Flood insurance may be required.  These forms of help are available:  Housing Assistance (including Temporary Housing, Repair, Replacement, and Semi-Permanent or Permanent Housing Construction) and Other Needs Assistance (including personal property and other items).

How to Apply:

Telephone: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 800-462-7585.  Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) can call 800-621-3362.

Online: Application can be filled out at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

Smartphone or Tablet: Use the URL m.fema.gov in your internet browser or download FEMA’s App for Android phones at market.android.com/details?id=gov.fema.mobile.android

*See the attached PDF for “An Applicants Guide to Individual and Household Programs

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MESSAGE FROM VHCB ON HUD FUNDING

Several of us had the opportunity to meet yesterday with Mercedes Marquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for CPD; Barbara Fields, HUD’s New England Regional Administrator; and other HUD officials from New England.  The topic of the conversation was what, if anything, HUD can do to help Vermont as we try to recover from Hurricane Irene.  They asked us to compile a list of applications from Vermont entities currently pending with HUD.  Please let us know if you have a current application or request in to HUD (i.e. 811, 202, Sec. 8, public housing etc., etc.).  Also, feel free to forward this request to anyone who may have a pending application who isn’t on this e-mail.  Finally, we probably should compile a similar list for RD so please let us know about those applications as well.  Our thoughts are with all of you and the people you house who experienced damage and loss because of the flood

Polly Nichol
Vermont Housing & Conservation
828-3259   
pnichol@vhcb.org  

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BRATTLEBORO HOUSING AUTHORITY & RESIDENTS HARD HIT BY IRENE
PLEASE DONATE ONLINE

We understand that the Brattleboro Housing Authority has elderly housing that was devastated by the hurricane and that they are struggling as it also hit their offices.  BHA is reportedly coping as best they can, but had damage in 70 of 80 apartments at Melrose Senior Housing and have had to put up many seniors in temporary housing in motels.

You can contribute to the relief effort through Cathedral Square Corporation’s Paypal account.  Please be sure to indicate “Brattleboro Housing Authority” in the designated field for the “purpose” of your contribution.  You can also send a check to payable to Cathedral Square Corporation and mail it to:

Cathedral Square Corporation
412 Farrell Street, Suite 100
South Burlington, VT 05403

Please note that it’s for the Brattleboro Housing Authority on the “memo” line of the check.

Thanks for whatever assistance you can offer.

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HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR VERMONT STORM VICTIMS
Foreclosure protection offered to displaced families in several counties
September 2, 2011

WASHINGTON–U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Vermont and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following Tropical Storm Irene.

Yesterday, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor Counties. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in these counties.

“Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process,” said Donovan. “Whether it’s foreclosure relief for FHA-insured families or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can.”

HUD is:

Offering the State of Vermont and other entitlement communities the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief– HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore streamlining the Department’s CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing;

Granting immediate foreclosure relief– HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages; 

Making mortgage insurance available– HUD’s Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs;

Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation– HUD’s Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and 

Offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance – HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure.

Information on housing providers and HUD programs -The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties. This includes Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.

Read about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims.

HUD press release No. 11-195

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UPDATES TO RESOURCE LIST FROM SPEAKER SMITH & PRESIDENT CAMPBELL
September 2, 2011

State Permitting and Regulatory Requirements (NEW):

Agencies and departments throughout state government have been taking steps to ensure that state permitting and regulatory requirements don’t unreasonably interfere with prompt recovery and reconstruction efforts in these extraordinary circumstances.  Here are some examples:

Stream Alteration — ANR has four stream alteration experts in the field and a point person available by telephone.  They are working directly with Vermonters whose projects implicate stream alteration regulations to help them ensure they are managing their projects in the best way possible.  In those cases, ANR is not requiring advance permitting, but is working with individuals to get the job done quickly and properly. 

For any advice on stream alterations or gravel removal please see the attached list of Stream alteration engineers and their contact numbers. In addition to the engineers, the Chief of the Rivers Program, Mike Kline, can be reached at 802-793-7617 (cell).

Commercial Motor Vehicles Engaged In Emergency Relief Efforts — On Monday morning Commissioner Ide exercised his authority to declare a regional emergency in support of restoration of services following the storm.  His declaration means that certain federal motor safety regulations (such as restrictions on hours of operation) shall not apply to a motor carrier or driver providing direct assistance in emergency relief during the regional emergency. 

Gravel Extraction  — Given the urgent need for gravel in connection with road and other reconstruction projects, on a case-by-case basis, provided the District Coordinator is contacted in advance, the Natural Resources Board is exercising its discretion to not enforce Act 250 requirements in connection with certain gravel extractions by responsible parties who comply with District Coordinator guidance in connection with that extraction.  Here are the Act 250 District Commission contacts: http://www.nrb.state.vt.us/lup/publications/nrb1.pdf.

Utility Reconstruction — Pursuant to his statutory authority, the Governor has already granted one waiver of the requirement of a Certificate of Public Good prior to commencing construction and site preparation for electric facilities.  As necessary to ensure rapid restoration of reliable power throughout the state, in appropriate cases the Governor stands ready to issue additional waivers.

Occupancy Permits — The Vermont Division of Fire Safety will give top priority to requests for occupancy permits by businesses forced to relocate due to destruction associated with Tropical Storm Irene.  In the meantime, Division of Fire Safety personnel are on the ground coordinating closely with Vermont Emergency Management to rapidly inspect damaged buildings, identify safety hazards, and keep the recovery process moving forward.

Electrical Permits — The Vermont Division of Fire Safety

Governor’s Website, Facebook and Twitter (NEW):

Governor Shumlin’s office website and Facebook page has periodic updates and resources.  The website is http://governor.vermont.gov. For Facebook updates, you should “like” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.  For Twitter “follow” VTGovernor.

Volunteer Opportunities (NEW):

Volunteer at 211 in Burlington: 211 headquarters needs help answering the phones. Call Eric Covey at 802-825-6165 to volunteer.

 

 



hurricane disaster relief: updates & resources

Posted

HOW YOU CAN HELP VERMONT
[from Seven Days staff blog, 8-29-11]

DONATIONS

Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.

You can donate to the United Way’s Vermont Disaster Relief Fund online, or buy sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the “Vermont Disaster Relief Fund”.

You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.

The VT Irene Flood Relief Fund is raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund is being administered by Todd K. Bailey.

Vermont Baseball Tours has set up the 8/28 Fund to raise money. Donations of $20 or more get you a cool t-shirt.

The MRV Community Fund has been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding.

Independent Vermont Clothing is selling a special “I’m With VT” t-shirt. All profits from sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts.

Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.

Burr and Burton Academy has started a fund to help relief efforts in the Manchester area.

The Preservation Trust of Vermont is taking donations to help rebuilding and cleanup efforts for the historic buildings and bridges damaged by Irene. Make a donation on their site and be sure to note “Hurricane Relief” in the Comments section.

The Intervale Center has started a fund to help the farmers at Burlington’s Intervale who lost their crops to flooding. To make a contribution, donate to the Intervale and designate your donation to the “Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund.” Or mail a check payable to Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund to the Intervale Center, 180 Intervale Road, Burlington, VT 05401.

 

VOLUNTEERING

VTResponse.com is working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. The site includes a frequently-updated blog and a forum. If you’re looking to help clean up and rebuild, or if you’re in need of assistance, visit their site.

The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.

Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.

Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.

The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebook is functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.

Vermont Helping Hands is also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.

Upper Valley Haven is operating with considerably fewer volunteers due to road closings. They’re looking for volunteers who are able to travel there.

The state is setting up a call center in Burlington to deal with Irene recovery efforts. If you’re in the Burlington area and you can man the phones for a few hours, email governorvt [at] state.vt.us.

 

MORE RESOURCES

If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit vt211.org.

The Help Vermont Facebook group is another place to share re

Sublet.com will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 for more information.

For child care providers who have been affected by Irene, check out the Resources for Relief (Child Care Providers of VT) page on Facebook.

If you’re looking to get help from volunteers, check out VolunteerMatch.org.

The Basin Harbor Club is offering complementary accomodations for Vermonters who can no longer stay in their hotels. Visit their website for more information.

 



hurricane disaster relief: updates & resources

Posted

MESSAGE FROM VTRANS

Sue Minter, Deputy Secretary

VTrans Enhances Public Information Through Google Maps

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Agency of Transportation today announced the roll out of a brand new web-based Public Information Project that was made possible through a partnership with Google.  A new map, utilizing Google, will advance the emergency response effort following Hurricane Irene.  The map can be found at the VTrans website:  www.aot.state.vt.us.

* * *

The map will be a dynamic product “in the making.”  It will be updated daily as more information becomes available.  The public is also invited to add their information at the Agency website.

VTrans’ public information project also includes a Call Center for people in search of traveler information.  The Agency has been inundated with calls for assistance and responded by creating the following hotline: (800) 866-7099 which will be staffed between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

 

 



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