September 11, 2014
Shore View Condominiums, 20 units in seven seaside buildings in Rockaway Beach, Queens, was hammered by superstorm Sandy. And though the complex suffered nearly $250,000 in damage to its entranceways and basements, including residential areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, recalls board president Janie Simmons, "said they don't help condos." That isn't quite accurate since FEMA indeed helped countless co-op and condo apartment owners find emergency shelter, and gave them money to do emergency repairs. But she is correct in that FEMA by law is not allowed to grant funds to condo and co-op boards to fix common areas.
Written by Frank Lovece on February 26, 2013
You've seen the headlines, and they're grossly, irresponsibly inaccurate: "Condos and Co-ops Not Covered Under FEMA." Co-op shareholders and condo unit-owners are covered under the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Only co-op and condo boards and common areas aren't. Why? Because FEMA's primarily aim is giving homeowners and renters alike temporary shelter and supplies after a disaster, and no one lives in a building's common-area hallways and lobbies.
Now that that's settled, what can condo and co-op boards do for funding to help restore their buildings after, oh, say superstorm Sandy? Here's what.
Written by Frank Lovece on February 19, 2013
After the storm, after the surge, after the wind has died, after floodwaters recede, the finger-pointing inevitably begins. "We did not have flood insurance," says Dr. Janie Simmons, an anthropologist and AIDS researcher who serves as board president of Shore View Condominiums at Rockaway Beach in Queens, one of the many New York City communities battered hard by superstorm Sandy. "Legally, we were not in a flood zone," she says. "There hasn't been a flood in most of the Rockaways for more than a generation. We were not required nor were we ever offered flood insurance."
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