Hazard mitigation grant do-over

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.