By Senator Patty Ritchie
For the second time in three years, we have seen people and businesses face extreme stresses from a major flooding event along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
The hardships placed on people whose homes and businesses were damaged have been devastating.
In August, Governor Cuomo announced the formation of the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative Commission, a group to help determine the best possible way to help communities rebuild, and to do so in a manner that promoted both protection against future flooding and economic development.
Since the formation of that group, and at its regional meetings, I have strongly advocated for a portion of the funding New York State set aside for this initiative to be provided to shoreline homeowners.
Thankfully, with your help, our voices were heard and the governor set aside $20 million for those affected.
On October 1, applications for homeowners whose primary residences were damaged, became available on the New York State Homes and Community Renewal website, www.hcr.ny.gov.
I urge all primary homeowners to apply for relief as soon as possible, as the application period for primary homeowners ends on October 31.
However, throughout this process, I also made it very clear that this program also needed to include those who own seasonal residences.
In addition to speaking about this need during REDI meetings, I also wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo explaining why our seasonal residents need this assistance as well.
I am happy to tell you that because of our conversations, the governor has decided to also open this process to secondary homeowners.
Details on the application process for seasonal residents will be forthcoming.
In the coming days and weeks, I will keep everyone up to date on the each application process.
I however, must again encourage all whose primary homes suffered damage due to the flooding, to fill out the application, which can be found at www.hcr.ny.gov to do so as soon as possible.