Sen. Charles Schumer appealed to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday to ensure that Sandy-damaged co-ops and condos receive a piece of the $60 billion federal storm relief package, the New York Daily News reported.
As it stands, co-ops and condos cannot receive FEMA grants, but are instead eligible for low-interest loans to make repairs. In a statement Wednesday, Schumer said that “condos and co-ops should be eligible for the same assistance as single-family homes, and to say one can receive aid while the other can’t makes no sense.”
The HUD has allotted $1.77 billion of federal aid to the city, which will then determine how the money is to be spent. HUD officials said it will not stand in the way if the city decides to grant funds to condos and co-ops. Some condo and co-op residents, such as those living at the 1,150-unit Dayton Beach Park co-op complex in the Rockaways, says this aid is badly needed. The complex was flooded and lost its boilers, heaters, water pumps and its laundry room. “We pay taxes just like everyone else,” Rockaway Beach Civic Association President Dolores Orr told the Post. “We need the same assistance that’s offered to other homeowners.”
Schumer’s appeal to the HUD follows a recent announcement from Governor Andrew Cuomo of a $400 million plan to buy and demolish Sandy-hit homes and have the land permanently preserved as coastline, which has been received warmly by residents. [NYP] –Hiten Samtani