Brick Officials: Feds Should Fund All House Raisings
Resolution on council agenda for Tuesday night
Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis and Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni will jointly propose a resolution before the township council this week that will ask the federal government to fully fund all residents' house raising efforts in the wake of new federal guidelines.
The resolution requests the federal government to fully fund the efforts of all residents to comply with heightened base flood elevations and other foundation requirements for those in flood zones.
Acropolis said residents with flood insurance whose homes were damaged more than 50 percent during Sandy qualify for grants worth $30,000, but that often is not enough to raise a home. Further, homes that were damaged less than 50 percent – or not at all – as well as those whose homes did not have flood insurance policies, do not qualify for the so-called increased cost of compliance, or ICC, grants.
"There is so much that goes into elevating homes," said Acropolis, in a statement. "Foundation work, utility work and more. That $30,000 will not go far for most families."
Two other grant programs have already been authorized, including Community Development Block Grant allocations that could start as early as next month, according to Gov. Chris Christie, plus FEMA Hazard Mitigations Grants, which could come farther down the line.
Sangiovanni said the federal government should fund the entire elevation effort, however.
"It is our duty to fight for the families of Brick Township, many of whom will likely not be able to afford to elevate their homes," said Sangiovanni, whose own home was severely damaged in the storm. "They should not have to leave their homes and Brick Township because of the financial burden the new flood zone regulations have forced on them. It is another unfunded mandate that is unfair to citizens."
The resolution is on the March 5 council meeting agenda.
Last month, Councilman John Ducey introduced his own resolution calling on the federal government to allow residents to challenge their flood zone mapping.