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

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.