Homeowners Remain Frustrated With Sandy Rebuild [AUDIO]
Those FEMA flood maps continue to be a tough pill to swallow for many affected by Sandy.
One group is planning a special information meeting in Ocean County later this month. Meanwhile, the homeowners who want to rebuild are very frustrated and seem to grow more and more with each passing day.
The group Stop FEMA Now is planning the session for Thursday, April 25th in Berkeley Township Elementary School.
It's been almost six months since Sandy, and while crews sweat to get our boardwalks ready for summer, homeowners desperate to rebuild continue to hit brick walls. The revised flood maps won't be out till sometime in August and could take years to be implemented. Many are unsure if they should wait on them or proceed with mending their properties.
Unknown flood elevations, fuzzy math, extreme requirements. Stop Fema Now is fed up over the maps, which they feel contain incomplete and incorrect data.
But here's a valid question for you. Would you shell out $150,000 to raise your home if you weren't sure of the final elevation guidelines?
"At this point, it really makes no sense to do this. We don't have the finalized details and they may change," Group founder George Kasimos says.
"There's a lot of confusion, anger and despair about FEMA's mandates," he explains. "The bureaucrats have admitted their advisory maps have mistakes, but they can't be appealed until late summer. That puts the over-reaching home-raising height requirements into question. Flood victims like me, and anyone in the 18 percent of America under FEMA's jurisdiction, need accurate answers before we decide how to -- or if -- to rebuild."
"Raising a house can cost $50,000 to $150,000."
Kasimos pointed out that flood insurance will cost as much as $31,000 per year for homes in flood zones, "which is unaffordable to most of us. There could be mass abandonment's and foreclosures in New Jersey and across the country."
Stop FEMA Now was created to inform shore property owners of the hardships they face, and to spur Congress to amend the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act that empowers FEMA.
"FEMA has already lowered our property values with its fuzzy math and extreme requirements," he said. "FEMA has damaged the shore more than Sandy did. Our movement is growing as people realize the harm FEMA has done."
"Together, we can make our voices heard from Trenton to Washington," the founder asserted. "Mayor Amato and I invite Berkeley area residents to get the facts -- and get involved -- at our meeting on April 26th."