U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD's approval of New York City's disaster recovery plan to help homeowners and businesses following Hurricane Sandy. Funded through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, New York City's action plan calls for a combined $1.77 billion investment in a variety of housing, infrastructure and business recovery activities.
The federal government has been on the ground since Sandy struck and will continue to provide substantial resources and technical assistance until the entire region is rebuilt safer, better and stronger. To date, FEMA has provided over $1.2 billion in individual and public assistance in New York City and the Small Business Administration has provided over $1.4 billion in disaster recovery loans to businesses throughout New York State.
Donovan, who also chairs President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, said today's approval will allow the City to begin the long-term process of rebuilding damaged housing, restoring infrastructure, and stimulating business activity and job growth.
"This plan is truly a neighborhood-based approach to disaster recovery," said Donovan. "We've worked closely with Mayor Bloomberg, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and the New York Congressional Delegation throughout this process to help families get back in their homes, jumpstart local economies and make communities more resilient."
"The City took immediate action in the days following the storm -- distributing millions of meals, housing thousands of displaced New Yorkers and repairing more than 20,000 homes -- and these Federal dollars will help us continue our recovery work to get home and business owners back on their feet," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "With the Federal approval now in place, we're going to see that this relief money starts flowing to home and business owners as soon as possible. I want to thank Secretary Donovan's for his leadership and our Congressional Delegation -- especially Senators Schumer and Gillibrand -- for their advocacy to secure this funding."
"Now that this plan is approved, desperately needed dollars can start flowing to the homeowners and business owners who lost so much," said Senator Charles E. Schumer. "It is a turning point in our recovery from the storm, but our work won't be done until houses are totally rebuilt, businesses are reopen, and roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure has been repaired, stronger than it was before."
"This is an important day in the recovery process for families and small businesses who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy," Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said. "These critical federal funds will help families get back on their feet and help hard hit communities rebuild stronger and smarter. We will keep working together to secure every federal resource we need for a full recovery."
On January 29th, President Obama signed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 into law, providing a total of $16 billion in CDBG Disaster Recovery funding. HUD quickly allocated $5.4 billion to five states (including New York) and New York City. New York City submitted its required action plan describing how the funds will be used on April 23rd and HUD conducted an expedited review to enable New York City to access these funds as quickly as possible.
The CDBG Disaster Recovery funding gives grantees significant flexibility in determining how best to use their funds to meet the greatest unmet needs. In general, the funds are intended for the restoration of housing and infrastructure as well as economic revitalization in disaster-impacted areas. The funds are to meet recovery needs that are not otherwise covered by other federal assistance, private insurance, or other sources.
New York City's approach will focus principally on meeting the immediate recovery needs for housing and business assistance in the communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. These activities include $648 million to support a variety of housing programs; $293 million to assist economic revitalization programs; and $654 million for infrastructure, resiliency, and public service programs.