Policymakers are taking further action to help homeowners and neighborhoods devastated by the aftermath of super storms.
Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, approved a New York recovery plan that will allot $1.7 billion in aid to help households and communities rebuild from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
The plan is part of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act 2013, which committs $16 billion to HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG) program.
On Jan. 29, HUD allocated $5.4 billion in aid to five states, including New York.
New York officials submitted a required action plan for disaster relief funding on April 3, describing how funds will be used to help neighborhoods harmed by high-powered storms.
"Today we take another important step toward recovery and healing for hard-hit communities in New York," Donovan said.
He added, "We’ve worked closely with Governor Cuomo, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and the New York Congressional Delegation throughout the entire process to help design effective programs that will help families get back in their homes, jumpstart local economies and make communities more resilient as quickly as possible."
The agency also will work with the Office of the Inspector General to ensure all funds are used as intended — to help families, small businesses and communities get back on their feet.
The CDBG Disaster Recovery funding gives grantees flexibility in determining how best to use the funds to meet the greatest needs. In general, the funds are intended for the restoration of housing and economic revitalization in disaster-impacted areas.
More importantly, the funds are to meet recovery needs that are not otherwise covered by other federal assistance, private insurance or other sources.
"Following the devastation caused by the major storms to hit New York over the past two years, our state worked closely together with our Congressional Delegation and local communities to put together a comprehensive action plan to help our homeowners and businesses recover and rebuild," said Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York.
He added, "Today's announcement is a tremendous boost of support for homeowners, businesses, and local governments that lost so much in Superstorm Sandy but it is not the end of the road for our recovery."
New York will focus on assisting households and communities using $838 million in promised federal support for housing programs and $415 million for economic revitalization.