The Real Deal New York

$650M to fix Sandy-damaged homes still tied up

Officials say red tape slowing efforts to get Build It Back funds to homeowners

February 24, 2014 11:13AM

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A NYC home damaged by Hurricane Sandy

A NYC home damaged by Hurricane Sandy

More than a year after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, the vast majority of the nearly $650 million in federal funds set aside for New Yorkers to rebuild their homes has yet to be used for storm victims — leading some applicants to say the city is mismanaging the fund.

Around 20,000 homeowners applied for recovery assistance from the Build It Back program. As of February 20, however, not one applicant with a single-family home had begun reconstruction.

In addition, just three multi-family home projects out of 1,000 applicants have begun, DNAinfo reported.

In total, only 171 applicants to Build it Back have received money, with 47 homes still in the planning phase, an official told DNAinfo. At least half of the applicants to the program are residents whose homes suffered significant damage and whose incomes are lower than the city’s median.

Officials blame the delay on the paperwork required to release funds. At the end of last year, officials said the program would need more than $2 billion to meet all homeowner’s needs, as The Real Deal previously reported. [DNAinfo] – Angela Hunt

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