Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-SI/Brooklyn) was joined by State Senator Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/SI) in calling for a change to a federal policy that, if left unchanged, will limit available grant funding to Sandy survivors who turned down SBA loans to avoid going deeper into debt. This morning, Rep. Grimm sent a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan asking him to waive the policy or implement a viable alternative solution. The call is quickly gaining support from state and local officials.
"Those impacted by Sandy have already suffered tremendous loss and accrued significant amounts of debt. Now many may lose access to grant funding for making a responsible decision to turn down a loan they simply cannot afford to pay back. It is simply unfair to punish those who have played by the rules. That is why I am calling for a viable solution that puts all Sandy survivors on a more equal playing field, and I am pleased to receive growing support for this effort from other leaders in Staten Island and Brooklyn," said Rep. Grimm.
"It has now been more than six months since Sandy, and the people of Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach, are still looking for assistance in order to get their lives back on track. Many families lost everything and had to start over, rebuilding their homes, buying their cars, and so much more. To deny this funding is both absurd and wrong, and I would ask that Secretary Donovan, who knows New York City well, realize both the great needs and expenses still facing Sandy survivors," said Senator Golden.
"As survivors fight to recover from Sandy's destruction, economic realities have placed limits on what options they can afford. Many couldn't accept an SBA loan because they were simply unable to take on more debt. The current CDBG action plan would in essence force these people into a loan program that they aren't comfortable with, a red flag in any responsible lender-borrower relationship. Classifying declined SBA loans as 'unclaimed benefits' would be unfair and it is our hope that HUD will step in to rectify this," said Assemblywoman Malliotakis.