NEW YORK—Hours before it was set to expire, the deadline for the Hurricane Sandy rebuilding program called NYC Build It Back was extended by one month.
“With an influx of new registrants in the past two weeks, we are extending the deadline so that more New Yorkers have the opportunity to sign up for NYC Build It Back,” Brad Gair, director of the New York City Office of Housing Recovery Operations, said in a statement.
NYC Build It Back was launched on June 3, 2013. The program aims to help New Yorkers whose properties were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The announcement came following an open letter sent by the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding (AJR) to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The group, which represents under-served residents affected by Hurricane Sandy, asked to extend the deadline by one year.
AJR cited low registration rates in Queens and Brooklyn as well as feedback from residents saying that they were unaware the program existed.
The deadline was extended to Oct. 31, 2013.
To date, 22,000 New Yorkers have registered for the program, including 9,400 from Queens, nearly 7,000 from Brooklyn, and 5,000 from Staten Island.
On Sept. 30, Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio was in Far Rockaway, Queens, on a tour sponsored by AJR. The area was heavily damaged by Sandy. During the visit, de Blasio said he would like to see recovery jobs be guaranteed a living wage. He also wants to provide jobs to those who lost their homes.
“To me, the perfect equation is to have people building the houses they and their neighbors will one day occupy,” de Blasio said.
The Epoch Times reached out to the de Blasio campaign, as well as his Republican challenger, Joe Lhota, to see if either would support extending the deadline a full year. Both campaign offices did not return calls by press time.
NYC Build It Back is funded with $648 million in federal disaster recovery money.