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Editorial: Welcome help for Sandy-wrecked homes

A destroyed home is viewed along the beach

A destroyed home is viewed along the beach in the Belle Harbor neighborhood in the Rockaways (Jan. 2, 2013) Credit: Getty

After battling insurance companies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, owners of homes severely damaged by Sandy finally are about to receive major federal financial assistance. On Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced average awards of $112,000 to about 4,000 homeowners -- $451 million in total assistance -- to help rebuild their houses.

Additional $30,000 grants are available to anyone who wants to make his or her home more resilient by such measures as elevating electrical systems, protecting fuel tanks and using storm-resistant building materials. Another program will cover the cost of alternate housing if families need to move out of their homes during rebuilding -- up to $3,000 a month for 20 months.

All that is on top of those initial FEMA awards of up to $31,900 to uninsured and underinsured homeowners.