Obtaining a HUD Community Block Grant is loaded with paperwork.

Written By: Glenn Michaels, Op-Ed Writer

As a New York State resident that had about $40,000.00 Super Storm Sandy damage you would think obtaining some of the HUD Community Block Grant Money would be easy.

New York as well as other states that had significant damage caused by Super Storm Sandy received billions of dollars from The United State Department of Housing and Urban Development as a Community Block Grant. The state decided not to run the program directly so they formed a program called “New York Rising.”

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Residents of New York first had to file a claim on line that they had Super Storm Sandy damage. The information requested was quite extensive and after completing numerous online pages they then wanted a lot more documentation followed up by submitting hard copy of property ownership, insurance, insurance claims and insurance payouts, flood insurance and any claims as well. In addition we had to certify what our income was at the time of the storm for all residents at the time of the storm. By the time I finished the first installment of documents for a piece of the HUD Community Block Grant I had over sixty (60) pages of documentation forwarded to New York Rising.

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The next phase was an actual property inspection by a New Rising approved property inspector. The inspector took numerous photographs of the work completed and or work to be completed. In my case, all repairs were completed so the inspector had to read the contractor’s estimate of the damage and the work to be completed. My inspector made several references in his inspection report that my gas lines or gas hook ups were in need of various upgrades. The thing that intrigues me is that my wife and I do not have gas, we only have oil. You can see from the inspection report that the inspector either got our home confused with another home or was unaware of the difference between a home heated with oil and or gas.

After nine (9) months I receive an award letter from New York Rising that I will be receiving an award of $13,000 plus or minus. Attached to the award letter was a check of $3,400.00 with notations that we received charitable donations of $9,034.00. The so called charitable donation we never received and we requested evidence of this charitable donation. Our file has now gone into a review status since no one knows where the charitable donation of $9,034.00 is.

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In the meantime, I am constantly asked for additional documentation regarding my ownership, insurance and income. My last transmission to New York Rising consisted of another forty (40) pages of documentation.
I have recently inquired again about the phantom charitable donations that my wife and I supposedly received and what do you think happened? We asked to supply additional documentation, some of which they already have.

Today I receive an e – mail from New Rising to supply an income form for my adult daughter and evidence of my flood insurance policy. My property is situated in Flood Zone “X” and properties situated in Flood Zone “X” are not required to have a flood insurance policy.

You might want to know what did my insurance carrier and FEMA award me after Super Storm Sandy. Combined about $9,000.00.
Fortunately we were able to fix up with a credit union loan and personal funds. People relying on funds from New York Rising are still having difficulty in obtaining funds to fix up.

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As I ride around the south shore of Long Island and parts of Queens, New York there are so many dumpsters and storage units in driveways and on front lawns. These homes are still in need of repair and most are relying on funds from New York Rising.

About The Author

Glenn Michaels - As an NAMP® Opinion Editorial Contributor, Glenn Michaels is a mortgage underwriting instructor for CampusUnderwriter (www.MortgageUnderwriter.org). As a BBA & FHA DE Underwriter, Glenn is a Pace University graduate who also graduated from New York University’s School of Mortgage Finance. Glenn has conducted numerous training classes and has worked in the mortgage banking industry for 38 years. 


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