NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today it is awarding nearly $4 million to two local governments to help pay for costs associated with implementing the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Program.
STEP funds emergency residential essential and necessary repairs such as restoration of temporary electricity, heat and hot water so that survivors can remain in their homes while permanent repair work continues.
The FEMA Public Assistance program is providing at least 75 percent of the eligible expenses for STEP; the remaining 25 percent will be provided by non-federal funds. FEMA has awarded $2.8 million to Nassau County and $1.1 million to Suffolk County.
“FEMA’s first priority is getting New Yorkers home,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael F. Byrne. “We understand that survivors are hard at work repairing and rebuilding houses. STEP is an emergency program that will enable them to move out of hotels and shelters and safely return to their homes during renovation.”
Under the program, residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties will be able to have the damage to their residences assessed and, where safe and practicable, have electricity restored and other basic repairs made so they can move back into their homes. This may include making temporary repairs to ramps and other related elements needed to make the homes accessible for residents with disabilities and others with physical accommodation requirements.
The STEP program was initiated after Hurricane Sandy to allow New Yorkers who do not have power to shelter-in-place in their homes while permanent repairs are completed. The STEP program is ongoing; these are the first funds awarded through this pilot program. FEMA officials expect that funds to reimburse local governments for STEP will increase in the coming weeks.