September 04, 2009

Schumer and Gillibrand Statement on FEMA Agreeing to Provide Individual Assistance as well as Public Assistance to Chautauqua, Erie and Cattaraugus

Following severe summer storms that have wreaked havoc on the lives, homes, and businesses of residents throughout Chautauqua, Erie and Cattaraugus, today FEMA agreed to provide Individual Assistance, in addition to the Public Assistance. Schumer and Gillibrand wrote to FEMA requesting they provide both public and individual assistance to the counties.  Schumer, after FEMA only granted Public Assistance, personally called the head of FEMA asking that he also grant Individual Assistance  The announcement comes two days after Schumer made that call.  The Public Assistance program, provides assistance to State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.  Individual assistance provides grants and low-interest loans directly to home and business owners to repair and rebuild and to secure temporary housing.

Senator Schumer released the following statement:

"The federal government has now stepped up to the plate, and the hundreds of homeowners and small business owners who have lost so much in Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua can breathe a sigh of relief.  We will be working with them to fill out applications and get the federal help as soon as possible."

Senator Gillibrand release the following statement:

"This is great news to begin the holiday weekend. Western New York homeowners and small businesses were hit hard by the devastating summer storm. This federal declaration will go a long way to provide the aid necessary to help our community get back on their feet."