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
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,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

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.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

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:…

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

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.