8 THE QUEENS COURIER • AUGUST 1, 2013 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.queenscourier.com 2013 Estate Tax Law Changes-Are You At Risk? Costly Mistakes You Cannot Afford to Make! Come to a Free Workshop on Wills Living Trusts & Medicaid Planning August 1st, 2013 3:00 Quinn Fogarty Funeral Home 162-14 Sanford Avenue, Flushing, NY 11358 August 7th 5:30-7:30 The Law Firm of Albert Cohen, PC Suite 312 104-70 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375 August 15th 12:00-2:00 The Law Firm of Albert Cohen, PC Suite 312 104-70 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375 August 21st 5:30-7:30 The Law Firm of Albert Cohen, PC Suite 312 104-70 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Seating is Limited. Refreshments Served. Call now to reserve your seat 718-275-7779 At the workshop, we will discuss several issues, including: -The advantages and disadvantage of Wills and Living Trusts -How to plan before you need Long Term Care -How to protect your children’s inheritance from future ex-spouses, lawsuits and other claims Presented By Law Firm of Albert Cohen, P.C. 104-70 Queens Blvd., Suite 312 Forest Hills, NY 11375 718-275-7779 www.cohenestateplanning.com Sandy: Nine months later Co-op owners still fi ghting for FEMA $ BY MELISSA CHAN email@example.com Newly proposed legislation aims to make co-op and condo associations eligible for federal storm recovery grants. “A storm does not discriminate where it hits, and FEMA should not be discriminating what type of homeowners it helps,” said Congressmember Steve Israel, who penned the bill. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in March it would allow co-ops and condos to receive funding from Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery assistance to help with repairs. But leaders and local co-op presidents said the fi x was just temporary. Co-op and condo owners currently cannot receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for Sandy-infl icted damages because they are categorized as “business associations.” The title makes them eligible for federal loans, but not grants. The Stafford Act, which governs how FEMA responds to major disasters, does not include the word “co-op” in the law, Israel said. But there is no statute that bans co-op owners from being eligible for grants, a privilege given to homeowners. “It seems clear that FEMA’s policy is the result of not understanding the role of co-ops and condos in our community,” Israel said. “I am introducing this legislation to allow co-op and condo associations to apply for federal grants from FEMA so we can right this wrong and ensure that these homeowners are eligible to receive the vital assistance they deserve.” “A STORM DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE WHERE IT HITS, AND FEMA SHOULD NOT BE DISCRIMINATING WHAT TYPE OF HOMEOWNERS IT HELPS.” Congressmember Steve Israel Some Queens co-ops suffered $1 million in damages, including Cryder Point Co-ops, a waterfront community which has to repair its pier. Glen Oaks Village sustained more than $250,000 in infrastructural damage, according to the co-op’s president Bob Friedrich. “To deny co-ops the ability to obtain FEMA grant money simply because of the type of housing choices their residents have made is shameful and should not have taken this legislation to correct it,” Friedrich said. The cost for repairs have fallen “squarely upon the shoulders of middle class owners,” said Warren Schreiber, co-president of Presidents Co-op & Condo Council. New Yorkers are eligible to receive about $3.5 billion of the total $5.4 billion allocated by HUD earlier this year. However, leaders said co-op and condo owners will have to battle it out with other retail developments, towns, villages and cities for the competitive grants used to repair common areas in the building like lobbies, boilers and elevators. The proposed law, slated to be introduced in Congress soon, would better defi ne housing co-ops and condos in the Stafford Act. It would also call for the rulemaking process to determine a new cap on FEMA’s Individual and Households Program. Bill would ‘uncluster’ shelters BY MAGGIE HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org Queens shelters may soon be fi nding new homes. Councilmembers Ruben Wills and Leroy Comrie started work in 2011 on a bill that would disperse homeless shelters evenly throughout each borough. Wills said research revealed that Community Board (CB) 12 contains 10 of the 18 shelters in all of Queens. CB 12 includes Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Springfi eld Gardens, Baisley Park, Rochdale Village and South Jamaica. “The DHS Department of Homeless Services is clustering all of these shelters,” Wills said. “All of these undesirable land uses are in certain community boards. We perceived that to be a huge problem.” Under the bill, Wills and Comrie proposed limiting the number of shelters in any community board to one-third of the borough’s total. Wills said placing shelters in one specifi c type of community, such as CB 12, is not in response to any increase in the “IT IS NOT FAIR THAT SOUTHEAST QUEENS HAS THE MAJORITY OF HOMELESS SHELTERS IN THE BOROUGH.” Councilmember Leroy Comrie homeless population. “It is not fair that southeast Queens has the majority of homeless shelters in the borough,” Comrie said. For the existing shelters, Wills suggested they make relocation plans so they and their residents are prepared to move when any site’s lease expires. He said it was important to put shelters in areas with convenient transportation. The council pair proposed an additional bill under which the DHS would determine whether any shelter resident is a sex offender. If so, the department would notify the local community board, councilmember and police precinct. The department would also conduct mental health and criminal background assessments on all adults entering shelters. If passed, the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2014.
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