The federal government is sending out its final batch of Hurricane Sandy relief funding, with $600 million being allocated for the New York’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief program – which goes to Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee recovery, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last Friday.
This allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development brings the total HUD appropriation to $4.4 billion for New York Rising and $8 billion for all of New York state – including the federal funding to the city for Sandy recovery efforts.
“New Yorkers have suffered a tremendous burden in recent years with 100-year storms coming every year,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “Sandy, Irene, and Lee, flash floods, and other weather emergencies throughout our state have forced us to be innovative, resourceful, and strategic in our recovery efforts. We are grateful to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan for his leadership, to have been allocated more than $4 billion in disaster relief. We will continue to return people to their homes and rebuild New York state communities better, stronger, and more resilient than ever before.”
The state will invest the new allocation primarily in infrastructure designed to prepare the state to withstand the impacts of future storms, according to Cuomo’s office.
Federal lawmakers appropriated $50 billion through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, of which $15.8 billion was allocated to HUD for programs which provide individual assistance to homeowners and small businesses, and rebuild and strengthen infrastructure in storm-impacted jurisdictions. Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery is responsible for administering the disaster relief funds through its New York Rising programs – for which there are Howard Beach and Broad Channel chapters.
The first $1.8 billion of the funding was granted to New York in March 2013, and the second $2 billion came in November 2013.
According to published reports, $994 million in federal aid is also headed the way of New York City – which Mayor Bill de Blasio said would be enough to cover all homeowners who have registered for help through the Build It Back program.
“This new funding, combined with the CDBG-DR housing assistance the city has already received, and HUD’s continued commitment to work with us, ensures that we’ll be able to provide the support that every homeowner in the Build It Back pipeline needs and deserves,” de Blasio told the Staten Island Advance.
By Anna Gustafson