With Sandy recovery stalling, de Blasio talks new plan

Laborers remove debris from a home damaged by Superstorm Sandy on January 4, 2013 on Staten Island. Credit: John Moore/Getty Images.
Laborers remove debris from a home damaged by Superstorm Sandy on January 4, 2013 on Staten Island.
Credit: John Moore/Getty Images.

Speaking at Staten Island’s Borough Hall Monday — the same day a report revealed that none of the people who applied for Hurricane Sandy recovery funds program have seen construction begin — Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration was in the process of reviewing the recovery effort.

“It’s self-evident that the pace has been a profound problem,” de Blasio said after meeting with a coalition of people affected by Sandy.

“The amount of paperwork, and the difficulty for people completing the paperwork, the classic bureaucratic process has been a real problem. That doesn’t negate what might be good about the program but right now for a lot of people it’s still more theory than fact, so that’s part of our review.”

A report released on Monday — almost 16 months after the disaster — by the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding found that out of 19,920 people who have applied for funds with the Build it Back program, none have received any money from the city to begin rebuilding, according to the Daily News.

The mayor did not offer specifics as to what might change under the new plan, but said the goal was to create something “as streamlined as humanly possible, and as local as humanly possible.”

One certain change is that Build it Back will soon be under new leadership after Kathryn Mallon, the head of the Housing Recovery Office, resigned last week. De Blasio did not say who would be replacing her.

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports



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