Dear Fellow Community Members,
I have an important announcement concerning NY Rising’s 50-50 payout program:
I am happy to announce that the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery has decided to reform the grant payout system so that applicants will no longer receive 50 percent of their grant at the start of construction and 50 percent after completion of the lengthy closeout process, commonly known as 50-50. Changing 50-50 has been a top priority of mine since my first day in office because, as we all know, the original system did not provide homeowners with adequate assistance to rebuild, causing undue stress and financial hardship.
Whereas the original payment structure provided 50 percent of grants at the start of construction and 50 percent after completion, the reformed structure will provide an initial payment of 50 percent of the total grant, an interim payment, upon request, of 25 percent after substantial construction is completed, and the remaining 25 percent after construction and the close-out process is completed.
The new payout system will divide these applicants into two categories: 1) applicants whose total remaining award is less than $20,000; and 2) applicants whose remaining award is greater than $20,000.
Applicants in the first category will automatically be eligible to receive an interim payment after self-certifying that they have completed substantial construction, and will receive the final 25 percent after the close-out process has been completed. Those in the second category who request an interim payment will undergo an inspection (which we are told will happen quickly) to ensure that work has begun and has yet to be completed. Such recipients will then be placed on track to receive the interim payment, followed by the final payment after close-out.
I am hopeful that this change will aid storm victims in their recovery process. However, this is only one more step in the right direction. I will continue to fight for our community to ensure that every resident is finally able to return home. I am not so foolish as to believe that all issues with this program will be magically swept away. But I do know that this reform represents some progress, and that constant advocacy on your behalf can produce results. I will keep fighting.
Assemblyman, 20th District