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More Irene updates & resources

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, or Ashley Grant in the Pro Tem’s (828-3806 or 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:

It is worth visiting FEMA’s website ( 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: 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 Smartphone or Tablet: Use the URL in your internet browser or download FEMA’s App for Android phones at *See the attached PDF for “An Applicants Guide to Individual and Household Programs ———————————————————————————————


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


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. ——————————————————————————————————————– 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 ——————————————————————————————————————– 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: 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 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.

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