By Gwen Stanley
At Woodstock’s selectboard meeting Last Tuesday night, Pete Fellows from the Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) detailed the two options available to homeowners hoping for financial help after Irene.
The first, called the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, applies to homeowners who suffered fifty percent or greater damage to their homes. The percentage of damage can be assessed either by the local zoning administrator — in Woodstock’s case, Michael Brands — or by a FEMA representative who will come out to the home and go through a checklist of assessment qualifications.
“They come out to your place and go through the basic rundown,” Fellows said. “Where’s the damage, what was sustained.”
The assessment is based on the home’s pre-flood value, for which detailed documentation will be required.
The second option is called Increased Cost of Compliance, or ICC, and is a more complicated choice in terms of the requirements, but offers $30,000 in funding to individuals.
To qualify for ICC funding, the home must be in a designated flood zone, and the owner must hold flood insurance purchased before the flood. Then the homeowner must provide proof that the home has been through a previous disaster.
The documentation must clearly show that the home has been through either one disaster that left at least 50 percent of it damaged, or two disasters that each left it at least twenty-five percent damaged.
“This is where it gets tricky, yes,” said Fellows of the ICC process.
If FEMA accepts the application, homeowners can expect that seventy percent of the damage will be covered.
Town Manager Phil Swanson emphasized that the deadline for the first round of grants for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is January 20, so interested homeowners should keep that in mind.
Residents with questions on their specific scenario are urged to call Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission at (802) 457-3188.
This article first appeared in the December 15th edition of the Vermont Standard.