Imagine this: You lost your home and all your possessions during Super storm Sandy, and for more than 3 months you have been watching and waiting as politicians in Washington played politics with the aid money.
Well it looks like the money is about to flow. The Feds made a major announcement Wednesday during a trip to Staten Island, announcing the first round of allocations of recovery funds to New York City.
The visit by H.U.D. Secretary Shaun Donovan comes more than 3 months after Sandy slammed the region devastating people and businesses on Staten Island.
Donovan chairs the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force set up by President Obama and along with Small Business Administrator Karen Mills will discussed the task force’s work and announced a stronger effort to get small businesses the help they need.
According to officials, nearly $1.8 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funding to New York City will represent the first round of CDBG grants from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 signed into law by President Obama on January 29.
This is the fastest HUD has allocated CDBG funding to grantees following the passage of a funding bill, and is in addition to approximately $1.7 billion allocated directly to the State of New York.
All of this comes at a time when the first payout of 5.4 billion dollars in federal Sandy aid is about to be released according to Senator Chuck Schumer. The money which is part of the 60 billion dollar Sandy aid package includes 1.7 billion for the city and another 1.7 billion for the state.
Eddie Saman lost his home to flooding and fire during the storm and says”It’s great. We’ve been waiting for that money to help the community here.” he added ” Most of the people here are poor. Most of the people need that money.”
New Jersey is getting 1.8 billion of the initial funds while the rest will go to Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland. Mayor Bloomberg scheduled a news conference at City Hall to discuss how the city will spend it’s money.