City Council probes rebuilding program post-Superstorm Sandy

treyger richards council nyc
Councilmen Mark Treyger and Donovan Richards preside over Monday’s hearing on the city’s Build it Back program.
Credit: William Alatriste/NYC Council

Only six of the Sandy-ravaged homes participating in the city’s Build it Back program have seen construction start, the city revealed on Monday.

The City Council held an almost seven-hour-long hearing on Monday to tackle the city’s initiative to rebuild homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

Many residents were on hand to share their frustrations with Build it Back, which was designed to connect homeowners with $1.45 billion in federal money to rebuild and restore buildings destroyed more than a year ago.

“This administration may not have made the mess,” Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said at the hearing, “but this administration has to clean it up.”

Roland Gorton of Breezy Point, Queens told his every attempt to seek guidance from different agencies and organizations resulted conflicting information.

Gorton testified that applied for assistance under an earlier city-based program more than a year ago, but was told that he needed to rip out his damaged floors in order to elevate his house.

Gorton then ripped out the floors only to be told he needed to install flooring in order for contractors to work on the building before the program shuttered in January 2013.

“The program’s ended now,” Gorton said. “Okay, so that’s great.”

The city’s new Director of Housing Recovery Amy Peterson admitted to the Build it Back’s blunders and “overly complicated” process but promised to turn it around.

“Early missteps, unrealistic assumptions and overly complicated processes have hindered rebuilding,” she testified to the Council.

Peterson, who started her tenure on Monday as well, vowed to make up for the setbacks.

“We’re going to make sure the money gets out to people,” she said.

She testified that of almost 20,000 applications for aid through the program, only six have begun construction, while $100,000 in reimbursement checks have been sent out, and another $800,000 in reimbursements would go out this week.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

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.

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.