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Lake Ontario Flood Recovery Program

NYS Flood Relief Guidelines

The application period closed Friday, September 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM.  
Your supporting documentation, estimates and additional information will continue to be accepted if your application was in by the deadline.

Procedural update.

The legislation providing the Flood Relief funding requires that we prioritize situations that pose imminent health and safety risks to the oocupants,  This includes damage to structure, wells and septic systems.  These applicants will be served before stand-alone shoreline applicants.  

Stand-alone shoreline damage applications will be reviewed and applicants contacted if additional information is needed at such time as we are able to serve them. Once you have applied no further action is needed until you are contacted by our staff.


The best way to communicate is an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We can respond to at least 10 emails in the time that is spent on one phone call.

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UPDATED 09/04/2018

Updates are highlighted in yellow

Neighbors Of Watertown is administering the Lake Ontario Flood Recovery Program in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.

Lake Ontario Flood Recovery Program Information

The Lake Ontario Flood Recovery Program will now reimburse homeowners with up to $50,000 for interior and/or exterior damage to the real property caused by the floods, and other related costs, as well as for the repair and/or replacement of permanent fixtures.

More information on the program can be found at the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Website

Program Overview:

New York State Homes and Community Renewal has made available up to $15 million in agency and non-agency funds, through its New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (“AHC”) component, to support homeowners who have been affected by severe flooding and raised water levels in the vicinity of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Seneca Lake, the Seneca River, the Oswego River, the Oneida River, Oneida Lake, and Cross Lake (each a “Covered Waterway”). The Program seeks to offer relief and recovery assistance for which insurance or other disaster recovery assistance is either not available or insufficient, providing up to $50,000 for a homeowner to support repairs to residences that sustain direct physical flood-related damage as a result of the raised water level of any Covered Waterway occurring between January 1, 2017 and August 31, 2017 (“Coverage Period”). 


Eligible Activities:

Program funds shall reimburse, on an incurred cost basis, Eligible Home Owners for flood related repairs to structures, equipment, and for other flood related costs, all of which were not covered by any other federal, state or local recovery program or any third-party vendors, caused by Covered Waterway flood damages occurring during the Coverage Period, and other related costs, as well as for the repair and/or replacement of permanent fixtures. (Incurred cost means we can reimburse homeowners for eligible repairs they paid for or we can pay contractors upon completion of eligible work.  We will not pay in advance)

Eligible activities include but are not limited to:

Environmental health hazard mitigation costs related to the repair of a Covered Waterway flood disaster-impacted residence and property appurtenant thereto (“Residence”) (i.e., lead based paint abatement, asbestos removal, mold remediation, or other health hazards) including testing and clearance costs; Accessibility modifications, including those that are completed in relation to the Residence, if the Residence was not accessible prior to the damage;


Repair/replacement of damage to real property, including, but not limited to

  • Window/door repair/replacement;
  • Siding repair/replacement;
  • Flooring repair/replacement;
  • Drywall/finishing;
  • Insulation;
  • Bathroom repair;
  • Foundation repairs;
  • Kitchen cabinet replacement;
  • Well/septic replacement or connection to municipal system;
  • Electrical system repair/replacement; and/or

Replacement of disaster-impacted non-luxury residential appliances, including but not limited to:

  • Water filtration system;
  • Washing machines, dryers;
  • Stoves;
  • Refrigerators;
  • Water heaters;
  • Heating systems
  • Fuel tanks (oil/propane but not actual fuel replacement); and/or
  • Dishwashers (if energy efficient)
  •        Site Work:  Shoreline hardening (boulders, rip-rap, etc.) - Shoreline improvements are acceptable as long as the         homeowner has home damage or significant shoreline damage that threatens the safety of the home.
  • Manufactured homes units may be eligible for Program assistance, to the extent that the Resident’s unit is a Residence damaged by flooding resulting from raised water levels in a Covered Waterway during the Coverage Period. Under this program, the owner must own the residential unit and the land it sits upon.
  • Home based businesses: Eligible Home Owners operating businesses from their Residences may be assisted under the Program, as long as Program funds are used solely to pay for Eligible Activities necessary to repair the Residence, and not used to support business recovery.  Homeowners may be referred to Empire State Development for business assistance.

Ineligible activities:

Below are items that may not be covered by Program funds:

  • Personal property, such as vehicles, furniture, and household goods and clothing;
  • General home improvements unrelated to damage directly resulting from flooding caused by raised water levels in a Covered Waterway occurring during the Coverage Period;
  • Heating or cooking fuel replacement;
  • Window unit air conditioners (health-based hardship exceptions allowed);
  • Portable heaters;
  • Any small countertop appliances, including, but not limited to coffee pots, toasters, blenders, etc.; and/or
  • Garage door openers;
  • Swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, etc. and associated equipment;
  • Luxury countertops (i.e. no stone or composite stone);
  • New fireplaces (wood, gas, or electric); repairs to storm damaged fireplace chimneys are allowed;
  • Covered porches, unless replacing an existing covered porch;
  • Central air conditioning systems unless existing at time of storm;
  • Residential condominium and cooperative units:  Residential units in a condominium or cooperative which suffer flood-related damage during the Coverage Period may apply for Homeowners Association assistance from ESD 
  • Detached structures from the residence such as garages, sheds, docks and boathouses are not eligible;   8/23/17    

Program Eligibility Information

Primary and non-primary residences: All owners of primary residences will be eligible for assistance under this program. The owner of a non-primary residence shall only be eligible with respect to such non-primary residence if such owner had qualified gross income no greater than $275,000 for the taxable year as verified by line 22 of the 1040 showing taxable income does not exceed $275,000.

Income Levels are now waived for primary home residences and they are $275,000 for non-primary residences.

Homeowners may be required to provide:

  • Documentation that damage to the property is from the 2017 Lake Ontario Flooding.
  • Documented denial from insurance or documentation that the damage is not covered by insurance.
  • Certifications that no assistance from other government sources (such as FEMA) were available or declined by the homeowner
  •        Non-primary homeowners - When there is more than one person on the deed of a home, the owners will be eligible so long as no individual - or married couple if filing jointly - had income of more than $275,000 in the 2016 taxable year.  We will not require that tax returns be submitted for every individual on the deed.  Instead, we will require that the applicant submit their tax return and attest that no one else on the deed has a disqualifying income over $275,000.  If tax returns are submitted for everyone on the deed the attestation is not required.  The applicant need not be the individual with the highest income among those on the deed.

Eligibility of Grant Recipients

In order to be eligible to receive assistance, Eligible Home Owners must obtain ownership of the Residence before or during the Coverage Period and maintain such ownership of the Residence at least until the Participating Entity provides AHC with confirmation that the Program funds have been expended for Eligible Activities as recommended by the Eligible Entity.

Prioritization: Preference shall be given to applicants that demonstrate the greatest need based on information contained in a complete application as reviewed by the Eligible Entity and/or based on flood damage data provided by applicable state and/or federal agencies, if available. Applications shall be processed on a first come/first serve basis, subject to the aforementioned requirements

If you believe you are eligible for assistance based on the information above, please Complete the Application below.

 Important:  Document the damage with before flood photos, flood damage photos, and after repair photos taken after the repairs are completed.  Document repairs with photos,invoices and receipts.

To apply, download the Program Application and fill it out:  Application period closed September 29, 2017.  Follow up documentation will still be accepted. 

Mail, scan & e-mail or drop it off in person together with supporting documentation. (Faxing has been removed. These submissions are not adequately legible, especially pictures.)

Complete the Application Now!

To inquire about assistance, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More information will be updated shortly.

DEC Application

Download the PDF application Here

Notice of Right to Appeal

Notice of Right to Appeal the Decision of a Local Program Administrator
For more information, read the notice - PDF