Some of the buildings and homes that sustained the most damage from Hurricane Sandy are being denied federal aid for repairs, reports the New York Times.
What makes a home undeserving? A co-op, according to the policy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is considered a business, even though technically it can be a nonprofit entity set up by its owner. That means co-op boards are banned from obtaining grants, and owners are denied money for repairs after a disaster such as Sandy, though they can receive aid for furniture damage or other items lost in their homes.
It's a problem stirring up controversy in Congress, with members calling for the rules to be changed stating since co-ops are flourishing as are severe weather damages, the city will be at an increasing loss when it comes to disaster aid.
FEMA officials maintain that their hands are tied. In a co-op, they say, "owners sign leases for the rights to their units, rather than owning them as real property, as the owners of condominium units do."
Almost 20 percent of the homes in the storm surge area were in co-ops, and 8 percent more were in condos.
“If FEMA gave a co-op $3,000 per apartment, our problems would be over,” one property manager said.
Read the full story on the New York Times.