Long Island residents frustrated over home foundation controversy

- Lindenhurst resident Joann Fairchild is frustrated and out of finances. She says that the issue is New York Rising, the government program to assist with Superstorm Sandy recovery, is doing the opposite. She said the program has changed its policy on funding for foundations of elevated homes. The program prefers an open foundation so water can flow through. But ever since the storm, closed foundations like Joann's are now required by the Town and Village of Babylon and the Village of Lindenhurst to build stronger and safer.

New York State Senator Phil Boyle said that New York Rising is notifying homeowners that have to have their homes raised as a result of Sandy that the program is reimbursing 20 percent if the home has a closed foundation. Boyle and other South Shore officials have reached out to New York Rising to ask for full reimbursement.

A spokesperson for New York Rising says in a statement: "...the elevation program has been developed in full compliance with federal guidelines to insure the safety of homeowners in the flood plain... New York Rising is paying a total of $510 million to more than 4,300 residents in the program. "

Don Werle was out of his home for two years. He just finished raising it seven feet and says he hasn't been paid anywhere near what he was promised. He said he feels like a victim.

Officials said they will not penalize residents who haven't completed the work on their required foundations and plan to keep putting pressure on New York Rising.

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