Back in March, Seaside Park, New Jersey, homeowner Chuck Appleby went to a town hall meeting where New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told homeowners whose homes were damaged by Sandy to go ahead and rebuild. State funds would reimburse their out-of-pocket expenses.
Appleby went ahead and took that advice. But after spending to repair his house, Appleby has learned that he won't be reimbursed, reports USA Today ("Sandy victims say talk of reimbursement proves empty," by Ken Serrano/Asbury Park Press).
"Reimbursement for Appleby is no longer the case, and in fact it never was," the paper reports. "Money already spent on work on homes such as Appleby's cannot be recouped under the $600 million Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program set up after the town hall meeting and administered by the state Department of Community Affairs." After spending some $70,000, Appleby says, he feels "thrown under the bus."
For Appleby, this is just the latest installment in a long saga of struggle. Back in March, the Asbury Park Press reported on Appleby's ordeal with his flood insurance carrier, Selective Insurance Co ("Seaside Park couple among 20,000 in NJ still waiting for Sandy insurance money," by Ken Serrano). "Selective cut the Applebys an initial check for $10,000 that allowed them to gut much of the first floor of their home," the paper reported. "Selective followed up with a $50,000 check, but Appleby received only $16,666 – a third of it. The reason: the bank the money was released to, Citizens Bank, refuses to release the second payment until Selective finalizes the claim and until 80 percent of the work on the house is completed, according to a letter to Appleby from the bank."
And like many other flood victims, Appleby learned that foundation damage was excluded from his insurance coverage: "The program just denied the Applebys' portion of the flood insurance claim that deals with their foundation, saying the damage was due to settlement from saturated soil."