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Should Jersey Shore Vacation Homes Receive FEMA Help?

By: Spencer Platt
Getty Images News

Many Jersey Shore homes damaged by Sandy aren’t eligible for FEMA aid.

According to an article at examiner.com:

“Many of the properties in the towns along the Jersey shore from Seaside Heights, Lavallette, Ortley and many others – are vacation homes and won’t be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid.

“It’s a hierarchy of need,” “FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said at a press conference. “Generally, vacation homes and other homes would not qualify for FEMA grants.”

My first reaction was that, well, it’s only fair that those who can afford a vacation home shouldn’t be eligible for FEMA assistance.

There are many whose primary residence was at the shore, and they should be the ones entitled to the help.

However, this can be a controversial view, as I recently found out on a Facebook thread.

Some people commented that not everyone with a second home is wealthy.

In fact, one of my FB friends said:

“…many homes that were bought at the jersey shore back in the 70′s for little money were handed down to family members or rented out to family members as their full time homes but the deals were off the books because the parents were still alive and didn’t want to show income from a son or daughter which would affect their social security benefits … the sons and daughters and people in similar situations are displaced now. Had they bought the home from the parents years ago and didn’t wait for it to be inherited before fixing it up or making additions to it, they would be in much better shape … but who knew that the home they built up over years and years would be wiped out … big lifetime losses here …”

Food for thought.

“More from the article: The good news for owners who don’t live in their Jersey shore homes full time is there are other assistance programs available. “Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans would be available,” Fugate said.

The SBA website states disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. In addition, homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property. “

What’s your opinion?

Do you think FEMA should make sure they consider each claim on a case by case basis to make sure that everyone who’s truly in need of assistance gets that help whether their home is a primary one or a secondary one?

 

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