Mayor de Blasio released his long-awaited report evaluating NYC’s Sandy response and detailing his plan to overhaul the Build it Back program. The reforms introduce by de Blasio include: an increase in eligibility for 4,000 homeowners who have already made repairs for government assistance; a plan to have construction started on 500 homes and have 500 reimbursement checks for repairs made mailed by the end of summer; a reassignment of workers at the Buildings Department to deal specifically with hurricane relief; the employment of affected residents on construction and repair projects; the elimination of priority ranking for work based upon homeowner income; increased eligibility for hundreds to receive the full value of their homes if they decide to vacate; and relief from City water bills for some vacant homes.
A New York Times editorial criticized the failures of the City and its Build it Back program, called Mayor de Blasio’s report welcome but overdue, and also called on the Mayor to set goals to address and prepare for long-term hurricane resiliency:
Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal, because of HUD’s reading of federal law, “Federal officials are considering spending more than $1 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion of rebuilding aid on disasters other than Superstorm Sandy, money that New York and New Jersey are banking on to finish repairs to thousands of homes and complete major infrastructure projects.” New York officials dispute their reading of the law and the plan.
Meanwhile, to learn about free disaster recovery legal clinics still taking place in NYC and Long Island, go to our Calendar of Disaster Recovery Legal Clinics.
Blog post authored by Jon Weinberg
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