Sandy relief: better late than never
Jun 04, 2013 | 1694 views | 0 0 comments | 249 249 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With tens of thousands of homes still in disrepair from Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg rolled out a plan that would utilize $658 million of the $1.7 billion in federal funds granted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HPD).

The NYC Build It Back program allows eligible homeowners to make necessary repairs to their homes, rebuild with the HPD, receive reimbursements for previously made repairs or sell their property to the government.

“This program will provide a new infusion of support to help families, neighborhoods and businesses come back stronger and more resilient than ever before,” Bloomberg said of the new program.

Additionally, the state Senate has boosted rebuilding efforts to the town of Breezy Point, a town still in dire need of repair.

“It’s time,” said Breezy Point Cooperative general manager Arthur Lighthall in a published report this week. “We have homeowners not in their houses. These homes need to be rebuilt.”

As it has been over six months since the most destructive storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season unleashed its destruction through the boroughs of NYC, the summer is now upon us and repairs are needed more than ever.

Compacted with displaced residents, beachfront towns are still in need or relief to revitalize local commerce as the first of the summer tourist months has approached.

More efforts like the most recent one from the Queens Economic Development Corporation with a “Rockaway Beach” Ramones-themed tourism campaign must be introduced to bring people back to the beaches and generate waterfront revenue.

While it was recently reported that Americans have donated $303 million to the Red Cross to aid victims from the storm and just $110 million has yet to be circulated, it is time that suppressive political rhetoric be cast aside and a “repair now with questions later” approach should to be taken; if not to rebuild our damaged neighborhoods and communities, then to repair the city’s morale to help more forward and face the next challenge.

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