Today, U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05) issued the following statement on the federal approval of New York City's plan for $1.8 Billion in Super Storm Sandy recovery initiatives:
"I was delighted to join with Mayor Bloomberg, members of the New York Congressional delegation, and other state and locals officials in welcoming today's announcement by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan that HUD has approved New York City's disaster recovery plan to help homeowners and businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. This decision will provide the City with $1.77 billion in support for its long term efforts rebuild damaged housing, restore infrastructure, revive business activity, and renew job growth in the aftermath of that devastating super storm. This assistance will be particularly significant for especially hard-hit families and neighborhoods on the Rockaway Peninsula as well as in South Queens and Southeast Queens.
"Today's announcement, together with HUD's recent approval of the New York State's recovery plan, provides New York City and New York State with the resources and flexibility to intensify and accelerate their respective efforts to address immediate as well as long recovery needs that are not covered by other federal assistance or private insurance. This includes $648 million to rebuild homes and make them more storm resistant; $293 million in economic revitalization assistance; and $654 million for infrastructure, resiliency programs, and other public services.
"I would like to acknowledge my Fifth Congressional District constituents for the amazing resilience they have displayed for better than a half year of waiting for this level of federal assistance. If we subtract for Congress' inexcusable three month delay in taking up Hurricane Sandy assistance legislation, both today's announcement by HUD and its approval of Governor Cuomo's plan a few weeks ago reflects a level of bipartisan federal, state, and local cooperation that is a model for the nation. Democrats and Republicans in our delegation worked very hard together to gain this assistance. We regularly exchanged experiences and ideas with President Obama, Secretary Donovan, other Cabinet members, Governor Cuomo, and Mayor Bloomberg and their staffs. We continuously consulted each other to ensure a common approach. We sought out each other's' input. We took account of the views of our constituents. I am confident that we will maintain this level of cooperation until the recovery of every affected community is complete.
"My office is prepared to diligently work with the Mayor's office to answer any questions my constituents may have in regard to how, where, and when to apply for assistance."