2013-03-08 / Top Stories

Sanders Advocates Better Compensation

By Miriam Rosenberg

State Senator James Sanders Jr. and Morgan Jones of the city’s Housing Recovery program listen to resident’s issues at last month’s Town Hall meeting. State Senator James Sanders Jr. and Morgan Jones of the city’s Housing Recovery program listen to resident’s issues at last month’s Town Hall meeting. Rockaway’s newest state senator believes the system that determines how people are compensated for losses and damages during events such as Sandy needs to be changed.

Senator James Sanders Jr. explained a system that he called ‘loss versus damage’ at a Town Hall meeting held at Far Rockaway High School last month. It’s a system that, he says, does not fairly compensate for destroyed items.

“With damages your home is made whole… by, God willing, insurance or somebody else,” said Sanders. “But you personal property is considered losses and you’re not adequately compensated for your losses. You’re just out.”

Sanders is currently “struggling,” as he put it, to convince both the state and the city that damages and losses should be treated the same.

“Not to just speak of damages, speak of losses – losses that we can document because many of us have already sent in our lists to FEMA and to everybody else,” said the senator.

Sanders said that many who expected to get help from FEMA, OEM and other agencies were out of luck when they went ahead and replaced broilers and hot water systems on their own.

“They can’t get the money back and that’s not right,” said Sanders. He added that he is in talks with Governor Cuomo to have any such work done from October 29th and beyond to be eligible for compensation.

Also attending the Town Hall was Morgan Jones of the city’s Housing Recovery program.

The city was scheduled to begin Housing Recovery Forums on March 6th in Broad Channel.

These forums or, as Jones called them, Open Houses, provide residents an opportunity to speak one-on-one with representatives of city, state, federal or community groups knowledgeable in issues being faced post-Sandy.

Issues will include removing mold from your home, advisory Base Flood Elevations, new codes and zoning regulations, financial resources, and housing opportunities.

“The most important thing to do when you’re facing something you don’t know about is to educate yourself,” said Jones.

The next scheduled Housing Recovery Forum is scheduled for this Sunday, March 10th at Beach Channel High School from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Through the mayor’s fund, the city also has a new program that will help remediate mold from Sandy in 2,000 homes.

To apply call 311. There you will be redirected to a hotline for Local Initiatives Serving Communities who are organizing the program.

“We’re looking for the neediest of the needy in terms of income and how serious the mold is,” said Jones.

Representatives from FEMA, the Small Business Administration and Project Hope also attended the Town Hall meeting.

Sanders office holds weekly Sandy oriented meetings to listen to problems and update residents and organizations on what is being done to help in the recovery.

The meetings are held at 10 a.m. at 15-26 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway.

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