New York's Office Of Storm Recovery last week released plans for how to divide the second tranche of billions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sandy relief program. The almost $2.1 billion will be used for housing, community reconstruction and infrastructure improvements. All of the funds will be issued through the HUD Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) which is administering $16 billion of the total $60 billion allocated by the Federal government to fund Sandy relief efforts. The initial allotment to New York State was approximately $1.7 billion, while New York City received $1.773 billion in a separate allocation.
This new allotment would be distributed as follows: $1.121 billion would be allotted for housing needs, $441 million for community reconstruction, $430 million for infrastructure and the balance for administration and planning. No funds would be distributed for economic development in this allotment.
The housing distributions will be made to the following programs: New York Rising Housing Program ($435 million), Interim Mortgage and Housing Assistance Program ($57 million), New York Rising Buyout Program ($521 million), New York Rising Rental Buildings Recovery Program ($100 million) and Sandy Housing Assistance Relief Program ($7.5 million). The homebuyer buyout program given originally $156 million in the first allotment will see an increase by over 3 times to a total of $521 million in this second allotment. All of the new community reconstruction funds would go to The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program.
The plan states that Sandy damaged or destroyed over 157,000 housing units including 35,000 in Nassau County and 10,000 in Suffolk County. According to the Governor’s office, these new funds will be used primarily to help make homeowners whole. Hearings will be held on Long Island in February and March. The plan can be found at stormrecovery.ny.gov.