Deadline for FEMA assistance for home elevation extended

Per The Times-Picayune, FEMA has delayed the deadline to 2012 for collecting insurance money designated for the elevation and protection of homes in Louisiana:

Because of the slow flow of other federal money, such as Road Home grants, FEMA had already pushed back the deadline for home-raising work under the National Flood Insurance Program’s Increased Cost of Compliance provision.

Typically, to collect up to $30,000 in so-called ICC money to cover the costs of protecting their property from future storms, rebuilding homeowners have two years from the date that their property is declared “substantially damaged” to complete the relevant work. FEMA had already extended that to four years.

For most people affected by Hurricane Katrina, that gave them until September 2009. But earlier this month, state officials argued that homeowners needed more time because of various impediments to rebuilding, such as a shortage of contractors, new damage from last year’s Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the late arrival of state-run storm-proofing incentive programs, namely the Road Home elevation grants from the FEMA-financed Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

This is a good sign as it indicates the federal government is aware that there are extensive delays people in the Gulf Coast area are dealing with, be it federal funding such as this or insurance companies delaying payouts. More time gives a break for residents who are feeling the economic crunch or are simply unable to meet the deadlines as they are set. Either way everyone wins in this scenario as it gives the government time to make sure the process goes correctly and is not rush and allows residents the opportunity to breathe easier about the new federal requirements.

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