The Real Deal New York

Investigation faults city program for Sandy recovery delays

New York Times finds Bloomberg plan overly complicated and improperly managed

September 04, 2014 05:15PM

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Former mayor Michael Bloomberg

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Poor program design and execution by the Bloomberg administration resulted in long waits for New Yorkers seeking funds to rebuild homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, an investigation by the New York Times found.

The newspaper found that in trying to prevent the corruption that plagued New Orleans’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina, Bloomberg’s office created a complicated program that yielded gridlock. The investigation also points blame at the administration of Bill de Blasio for failing to promptly make changes to the program, dubbed Build It Back.

Under Build It Back, contractors hired temporary workers but failed to oversee their work or manage applications properly, according to the newspaper. The Times also found fault with Bloomberg for prioritizing long-term storm mitigation efforts, rather than distributing funds for housing relief.

Earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio’s office trumpeted a revamp of the program, but the Times says change only came after federal officials pressed the city to pick up the pace of home repairs and reimbursements for work covered by homeowners. [NYT]Tom DiChristopher

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