STATEN ISLAND — Homes that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy yet remain classified outside the most severe flood zone got a boost from the state this week with a $9.3 million allocation to pay to raise the structures high enough to avoid future flooding.
The 28 homes around Staten Island and Brooklyn in the program, dubbed Project UPLIFT, were damaged by the storm but couldn't qualify for other grants that would pay for elevations because the flood zone they're in doesn't require the lifts.
Still, the properties face higher insurance rates and potential damage from future storms if they remain as is, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
"With extreme weather becoming the new normal, it is critical that we invest in hardening our infrastructure and protecting our communities from whatever Mother Nature throws our way," Cuomo said in a statement.
"With the launch of Project UPLIFT, we partner with community leaders to design programs to help ensure that we are building back better, stronger and more resilient than ever before."
The pilot program was offered to low- to moderate-income homeowners who sustained damaged in the storm, a spokeswoman for the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery said.
The homes selected include single-family, semi-attached and weatherized bungalows in Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay and the eastern and southern shores of Staten Island.
The state also hopes to extend the program to more homeowners faced with the same issues around the city in the future, the spokeswoman said.