City official slams FEMA for denying aid to co-ops, condos

September 11, 2013 08:37AM

A Queens city council member is bashing the federal government for not giving Sandy relief aid to the owners of condominiums and co-ops– and is lobbying for a policy change.

Peter Vallone Jr. will introduce a measure this week urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reclassify co-ops and condos as houses – not business, which is what they now are considered. The change would allow the owners to qualify for FEMA grants.

Right now, owners of houses can get disaster grants, but co-op and condo owners qualify only for no-interest loans through the Small Business Administration, according to the New York Daily News.

“That’s ridiculous,” Vallone, a Democrat representing Astoria told the New York Post. “They’re not corporations, they’re peoples’ homes.”

FEMA officials maintain that co-op and condo owners can get federal assistance for damage to their units, but not to the buildings or the common spaces because they fall under a shared ownership. [NYDN]Hiten Samtani