For the first time since Superstorm Sandy, the Town of Hempstead recently notified some 13,000 of its residents that their homes might still require Sandy repairs, despite the fact that the storm happened in 2012. Immediately after Superstorm Sandy, inspectors from the Town of Hempstead Building Department did preliminary damage assessments of storm affected homes. The structures were assessed by the Town of Hempstead, but the town was not sharing the Preliminary Damage Assessment Reports ( PDA) with potential buyers and homeowners.
In the PDA they gave each home a color code designation. Green for no damage, yellow for some damage and red for severe damage.
Town officials say some homeowners who purchased renovated homes after the storm may even have to elevate. The town is waiving some permit fees and is encouraging property owners in the flood zone to get their PDA as soon as possible. The permit waiver is currently in place until June 30, 2019.
A substantial damage analysis was previously triggered when a property owner submitted an application for a building permit. Building Department staff would look to see if there is a PDA associated with the property and if so the department may determine if the home was substantially damaged and required mitigation work. If residents did not seek permits when performing post Sandy repairs they may not have been aware of the PDA performed on their home after Sandy.
Some homes were bought and sold that were Sandy damaged and repaired without permits. A subsequent owner will be presented with a substantial damage report when applying for a permit to conduct new renovations, or a seller may be faced with a home that cannot be sold because an application for a permit revealed a prior PDA that required outstanding mitigation remedies. In such instances a significant problem will be encountered by both buyer and seller since there are currently no programs available for them to assist with the expense of the mitigation work.
Since this information is now available to us, our Certificate of Occupancy Reports in the affected areas will contain a note if the premises is in the affected area and the color designation for the premises. We will also be able to obtain a copy of the PDA upon request.
Owners who received such a letter are urged to contact the town, to view their preliminary damage assessment report to determine if any mitigation work is required.
Residents can call the Town of Hempstead Preliminary Damage Assessment Hotline at: 516-874-8554.
We will continue to keep you updated as the situation progresses.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding this matter.