June 6, 2024

Hartford Flood Compensation Program Receives Additional Funding

A program offering relief to Hartford residents impacted by flooding will expand this summer thanks to an influx of funding approved by the legislature, state officials announced Tuesday during a press conference at the West Indian Social Club.

“I’ve just heard incredible stories from people who said, ‘I never ever thought that would see any relief and I have had flood after flood after flood,” said state Comptroller Sean Scanlon, whose office oversees the program. “Thanks to the [Hartford] delegation and thanks to this becoming law, people who never expected help have been getting help.”

The Hartford Flood Compensation Program will receive $4 million in additional funding this July, thanks to a bill passed during this year’s legislative session. The money will allow the continuation of an initiative that has already sent $4.7 million to more than 380 residents impacted by flooding-related damage to their homes and businesses.

“We’re listening to the folks that live in our community. We’re listening to the business owners and responding at the highest levels,” Senator Doug McCrory, D-Hartford, said during Tuesday’s press conference. “People have been crying out for help. We heard your voice and we put a program together that’s not like any other in this country.”

The financial support is part of a broader initiative that also includes free home inspections performed by the Metropolitan District, which makes improvements aimed at mitigating future flooding, as well as long term structural renovations aimed at preventing flooding in the area.

House Speaker Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, encouraged residents and businesses to utilize all of the assistance available under the program.

“If you are a homeowner in Hartford or a business owner, you can call the MDC, they will come onto your private property for free — no charge — and they will make repairs to your sump pumps and will make sure that you have valves that are cleaned or installed,” Ritter said.

In addition to approving more funding for the program, the legislature expanded eligibility to include flood-damaged Hartford businesses owned by residents of another municipality.

That was welcome news for Julian Gellman, a Wethersfield resident who co-owns Hartford’s Webster Theater, one of at least 32 businesses that had suffered flood damage but had previously been ineligible for the program. Gellman said it was a “great relief” to hear that policymakers had broadened the program.

Beverly Redd, chair of the West Indian Social Club, said her organization had already been a recipient of support through the Hartford Flood Compensation Program, which helped the nonprofit group address damage caused by flooding in the basement of the organization’s Main Street location.

“This was very helpful — to help us fix the basement, get the place repaired,” Redd said. “I would say thank you very much for everything you’re doing for us.”

McCrory said state policymakers would continue to support Hartford residents and the program to address flood-impacted properties.

“We’re here today to announce more resources for this program and it won’t stop,” McCrory said. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my love and my passion for the work that we all do to make life better for our residents.”

Posted by Hugh McQuaid