After a massive outcry from shoreline communities, the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is being ordered to reconsider its decision to deny a particular source of federal funds for all home elevations and buyouts related to storm Sandy.

In a letter Friday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered that the committee that decided priorities for the funds – known as Hazard Mitigation Grants, provided through the Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) – reconvene and reassess its decisions.

The state received more than $81 million in funding requests, nearly five times the $16.6 million available. A committee formed to determine allocation priorities decided all the money should go to infrastructure projects in the belief that it would have a wider spread benefits.

Shoreline communities that had applied for funds for a total of 93 home elevations and nearly two dozen buyouts were outraged. Many town officials and homeowners sent letters demanding reconsideration.

Malloy’s letter also directed the state housing department to ramp up its process for home repair and elevation applications for those applying for other sources of funding.

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Jan Ellen is CT Mirror's regular freelance Environment and Energy Reporter. As a freelance reporter, her stories have also appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yale Climate Connections, and elsewhere. She is a former editor at The Hartford Courant, where she handled national politics including coverage of the controversial 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She was an editor at the Gazette in Colorado Springs and spent more than 20 years as a TV and radio producer at CBS News and CNN in New York and in the Boston broadcast market. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended Boston University’s graduate film program.

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