NYC Build it Back helps New Yorkers displaced by Sandy find home again

build it back
Patricia Dresch, right, is the first beneficiary of NYC Build it Back, which will will help survivors of Superstorm Sandy rebuild, repair or move on from extensively damaged homes.
Credit: Edward Reed

When Sandy reached Staten Island last October, the storm surge slammed into Patricia Dresch’s Tottenville home, ripping the house from its foundation and killing her husband and 13-year-old daughter.

Dresch has since been living in the rectory of her local church but, as the first beneficiary of NYC Build it Back, she will soon move into a new home.

“I’m saying goodbye to something that I lived on for 30 years and now I’m able to move on to something, to start a new chapter in my life,” Dresch said Thursday, when city officials announced her home was the first acquisition from Build it Back.

Through the program, the city bought Dresch’s old home and proceeds of the sale will help her purchase a new one.

“It is a great tragedy and we can’t forget that, but we just have to go on,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

More than 23,500 New Yorkers and 5,000 Staten Islanders have registered so far with the program, which is funded using a portion of $1.77 billion in Sandy aid from the federal government.

When negotiating the aid package, Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm said he spoke about Dresch with Republican leadership.

“I made promises that I knew I had to keep somehow, some way,” Grimm said.

The city set up six centers in Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn to help those impacted by the storm sign up for the program.

In addition to acquisitions, New Yorkers can choose to repair or rebuild homes with extensive damage through Build it Back, but Dresch said she didn’t want to live on the property she’s known for 30 years.

“I couldn’t go back down there anymore. … That was it,” Dresch said. “My family passed there.”

But at her new home, which will be away from the water, Dresch has already made plans — to cook dinner for Bloomberg.

The mayor and other officials said they hoped the program and Dresch’s story will help other Sandy survivors.

“We’re here to help each other,” Bloomberg said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.