- Associated Press - Monday, February 3, 2014

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The city of Minot is asking the federal government to extend the eligibility deadline for a program aimed at helping residents repair homes damaged in the summer 2011 Souris River flood.

The Housing and Urban Development program allows qualified homeowners to be reimbursed for repair expenses during the first year following a flood. But many residents of Minot postponed repair decisions while they waited for the city to finish work on a new flood protection plan. That did not happen until 11 months after the flood.

“During this time, many homeowners refrained from starting repairs because there was a good potential their properties would be acquired by the city for future flood control,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan asking him to extend the period of eligibility from one year to three years in Minot’s case.

“Due to this uncertainty, many residents did not even begin rebuilding until after (the) action plan was finalized,” Hoeven said. “Many deserving flood victims remain ineligible for any reimbursement because of this 12-month regulation.”

The city has set aside $5 million in federal grant money for home repair reimbursements. Homeowners who qualify can receive up to $10,000.

The 2011 flood caused by heavy spring snowmelt and rains damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 homes, businesses and other structures in North Dakota’s fourth-largest city.

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