Thirty Sandy-Damaged Homes Rebuilt, Says Mayor

By Amelia Pang, Epoch Times

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday that the city’s Sandy recovery program, Build It Back, has made progress, with 30 home rebuilt, and construction started on another 102. Fifty-five new constructions have been scheduled. 

Reimbursement checks totaling $6.37 million have been sent out.

Build it Back was launched in June 2013. Yet as of the beginning of this year, no construction had been started, no reimbursement checks had been sent, and no design consultation with homeowners had occurred. 

For the first few months after de Blasio assumed office, little attention was paid to Build It Back, Epoch Times previously reported. Instead, the focus was on his campaign priorities such as pedestrian safety, universal pre-K, and affordable housing.

Steps Taken

Some steps towards progress have been taken recently, such as a comprehensive review of the program, newly appointed leadership, and increased staffing. 

“We’ve expanded eligibility so every applicant can move forward,” de Blasio said on July 17. “There’s no question now. If you were affected by Sandy and you are eligible,” income will not be a factor in assistance consideration. 

City and state legislation has been passed to provide property tax relief to homeowners that have rebuilt after Sandy. 

“We still have a lot more to accomplish, said Bill Goldstein, the mayor’s newly appointed senior advisor for Recovery, Resiliency, and Infrastructure. “But this is a great beginning.”