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
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…