New York City gets $1.34 billion more in federal Sandy aid
Nearly a year after Superstorm Sandy made landfall, the city is getting another $1.34 billion in federal grant money for homeowners, businesses and climate change resiliency.
“The main focus the first year was on recovery — just recovering from the storm and letting the city function again. This second year is rebuilding: rebuilding our homes, rebuilding our small businesses, rebuilding our public works,” Sen. Charles Schumer said.
The funds make up the second allocation of Community Block Development Grants from the $60.2 billion federal aid package passed by Congress in January. Another $1.77 billion in aid, the first installment, was released the next month.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the federal assistance continues to to be critical to the city’s progress.
“We also recognize there’s far more work to do,” the mayor added.
Officials said the first allotment’s rollout has been necessarily slow.
“We are not wasting the taxpayers’ money,” Bloomberg said. “We’ve tried to account for every single penny.”
Cas Holloway, deputy mayor for operations, said New Yorkers can expect portions of the $648 million in the first allotment, intended for the city’s Build It Back program, to be spent on rebuilding and repairing homes before the end of the year.
Housing and Urban Development still needs to approve the city’s plans for the new funds, but officials don’t anticipate this process will take too long. The city will submit its plan in the next few weeks, officials said.
Holloway said the money would be divided similarly to the first allotment, with aid for housing and businesses, in addition to resiliency and infrastructure improvements.
“We can’t afford not to do this. For every $1 we invest in resiliency today, we save $4 in the future from storms that will come,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said.
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders