Bloomberg announces plans for $1.8B in federal Sandy aid

The first chunk of new federal aid for Sandy assistance will largely funnel to people still stuck without homes, the mayor said this morning.

Three months after the storm, thousands of New Yorkers are not sleeping in their own homes.

Today, the first Congress-approved aid began filtering in, including $1.77 billion for New York City.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the funding will create grants for homeowners and businesses struggling to rebuild.

In a hearing Tuesday, the City Council addressed the thousands of people unable to return to homes – some in shelters, others in hotels.  Many said before the hearing that they are living in squalid conditions.

Starting in April or May, the funding will provide grants to homeowners, as well as businesses, who need help getting back on their feet, Bloomberg said.

“Some have had their homes completely destroyed, and the question is, what are we going to do to help them?” Bloomberg said.

But Patrick Markee at the Coalition for the Homeless said the proposals do not meet a pressing need – long-term assistance to people waiting for rebuilt homes.

And not all are homeowners, he added. Many had been renting and are now unable to find new apartments.

For example, an older Russian couple was renting a Coney Island basement apartment for $800 a month, he said.

Now, they find $1,500 rents, which they cannot afford.

“There’s a lot of need out there,” Markee said.

More than 13,000 businesses were impacted by Sandy, Bloomberg said today. The city will offer up to $1 million in grants to business owners who commit to staying in New York City.

“You can’t live if there aren’t local stores,” Bloomberg said. “We want to make sure they recover and make themselves less vulnerable.”

The millions devoted to housing recovery also include $120 million toward public housing developments, for uses like installing emergency generators, and $100 million in grants for innovative infrastructure ideas.

People ‘don’t want to leave’ hotels

Bloomberg said today that some staying in hotels are not eager to check out. “Some of the people in hotels don’t want to leave,” he said. Markee dismissed this as “a ridiculous comment,” adding that people do not enjoy spending three months away from jobs, communities and schools. “None of these families want to stay in a hotel,” he said.

Bloomberg defends delay

The mayor told reporters that funds would be available in the spring. “We’re not just going to send out checks,” he said. They want to make sure everyone qualifies. “In government speak, this is instantaneous. The government doesn’t back up a truck and dump bills on the ground.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.