NEW YORK—The federal government has approved at least $766 million in loans for homes and businesses that are within newly designated flood zones.
At least 10,500 home and business owners have been approved for the loans, from the Small Business Administration (SBA), according to an analysis of federal data by WNYC and Pro Publica.
Many of the buildings, damaged by Hurricane Sandy, are on Staten Island’s eastern shore, in south Brooklyn (in or near Coney Island), or on the Rockaway peninsula.
Great Kills Marina Cafe has received the biggest loan out of the businesses on the list. The waterfront cafe was approved for a $999,000 loan. It is located off Mansion Avenue on Staten Island.
Sam Corigliano, the cafe’s owner, opened the cafe in 1980. He told WNYC that the decision to take the loan and rebuild in a flood zone was easy.
“We’ve been here 32 years, had 32 years of good luck, and good fortune, and laughs. We’ve had parties here, christenings, family events, a lot of happy times. We had one bad day,” Corigliano said. “You don’t walk away from one bad day.”
The SBA does not decide whether or not homes and businesses should be rebuilt in a certain area, according to spokesperson Carol Chastang.
“Our mission is to help these homeowners and business become whole again,” said Chastang, according to WNYC. “We really aren’t in a position to tell people where or where not to rebuild.”While city officials have been working to help homeowners and others raise buildings, Corigliano, said he wouldn’t raise his cafe because it would cost too much and take too long.
Of the $766 million in loans, 83 percent of the loans that went to New York City went to a property FEMA deems at risk of flooding. In New Jersey the figure was 71 percent. See a map of all the properties here.