Queens pols hopeful about Build it Back Sandy recovery program

| tcullen@queenscourier.com |

NYC Mayor's Office Flickr/ Photo by Spencer T Tucker)
NYC Mayor's Office Flickr/ Photo by Spencer T Tucker)

Mayor Bloomberg announces the NYC Build it Back Program on Monday, June 3,

Federal money is here.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new plan to distribute $648 million for New Yorkers trying to rebuild more than seven months after Sandy.

The Build it Back program offers four options for homeowners as the city shifts its focus to long-term repairs in the wake of the storm. Homeowners can use a city contractor to make minor or moderate repairs, rebuild their homes based on a city model, be reimbursed for out-of-pocket payments or sell their home to the city, which will then redevelop the site.

Affected city residents can begin applying next year and will be contacted by a program specialist, Bloomberg announced.

The city included homeowner reimbursements in the plan at the behest of elected officials, who made their case in April.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, whose own home was damaged by Sandy, said he is hopeful the project will be a success.

“I’m cautiously optimistic about the chances of this program’s success,” he said. “I’m very excited that the federal funding is going to be put to use. However, I want to make sure that the money goes to the families who need it most.”

Councilmember Donovan Richards said the plan offered enough options for homeowners dealing with damages, and ensures the money will go to the right people.

“With the thousands of different situations people find themselves in, we need a variety of resources,” he said in a statement. “There is no one fix for every situation. This is why I am very happy about the new Build it Back program. I believe this is a big step in the right direction of a comprehensive recovery effort.”